Baton Rouge, LA – A 19-hour standoff between Baton Rouge police and a gunman who had been taking shots at them all night ended Tuesday morning when the shooter ran out of the house and opened fire on officers.
“Unfortunately, it ended today when [the gunman] exited the rear of the house and at one point fired a weapon at our officers who returned fire,” Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
“Right now, he is at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital,” Chief Paul continued. “We’re going to ask the public to please keep him and his kids – my understanding is that he had five, he had five kids – keep him and his family in your prayers.”
Sources said that officers were not happy that their police chief asked the public to pray for a suspect who had just tried to kill a number of law enforcement officers.
The incident began on Monday after narcotics officers initiated a traffic stop on a suspect who had just left a drug house, according to The Advocate.
The suspect fled and ran into a home in the 4200-block of Sycamore Street at about 4 p.m. on Aug. 26, WAFB reported.
He barricaded himself in the house and a more than 19-hour standoff began, during which the suspect fired more than a dozen shots at police, according to The Advocate.
Chief Paul told reporters that police negotiated with the man for 17 hours before he stepped outside the home shortly after 11 a.m. and started shooting.
Police returned fire and the gunman – later identified as Keith Carter – was fatally shot, WAFB reported.
"They did everything in their power to end this peacefully," Chief Paul said.
Police said Carter told officers that he wasn’t going back to jail, The Advocate reported.
During negotiations, police allowed Carter’s long-time friend, attorney Nyles Haymer, to try to talk Carter down, WAFB reported.
“Nobody really thought it was as serious as it was,” Haymer said. “BRPD allowed me to actually talk to Keith over a PA system to see if I could talk to Keith and see if I could get him to come out of the home. It was a very, very tough moment for me and I know really, really hard for this family.”
“I tried my best and I was praying for him. I hate that it ended this way,” he told The Advocate.
Haymer said Carter had been struggling with mental health problems and had battled cancer for years, according to WAFB.
“Based on all of the treatment that he went through medically and based on his mental health problems, he just really felt tired,” he said. “He was just tired of going on. Was it suicide by cop? I don’t know... I can’t say, but it felt like it today.”
The attorney credited the Baton Rouge Police Department for trying to achieve a different outcome, WAFB reported.
“I know they were out there hard at work trying to get Keith to come out and lay that weapon down,” Haymer said.
Members of Carter’s family had gathered near police barricades to watch and wait for the standoff to end, according to The Advocate.
"Keith was a brother, uncle, father and son. His family was out there and they heard the shots that killed their loved one," Haymer said. "That's traumatic for anyone."
Chief Paul said that the Louisiana State Police would be heading up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, WAFB reported.