Manhunt near Chopin ends in tragedy

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BLAKE JOSEPH DAUZAT

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches SWAT, La. State Police and Louisiana State Police Air Support were involved in a manhunt near Chopin in connection with a shooting Tuesday evening, Dec. 4 at 6:55 p.m.

Deputies responded to 911 reports of a disturbance in the 300 block of G.R. Bardwell Road near Chopin, reportedly involving a father and son.

At 7:18 p.m., 911 Communications received an additional call from a female reporting that her son had shot his father.

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS was dispatched.

Deputies discovered a male suffering from gunshot wounds to his hip area and a female had crawled to a vehicle and left the area for help.

Deputies learned the alleged shooter, Blake Joseph Dauzat, w/m, 21, armed with a handgun had possibly fled into the woods.

Law enforcement searched buildings and the woods.

The victim was transported by Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS to Rapides Regional Medical Center where he is listed as stable.

On Monday, Dec. 3 at 6:55 p.m., deputies had responded to the same address involving the theft of a computer and cellphone.

Dauzat was identified as a suspect in that case, however, he fled into the woods prior to law enforcement arrival.

Deputies obtained warrants signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge for the arrest of Dauzat and looked for him throughout Tuesday to no avail.

The subject of the manhunt, Douzat, ended Wednesday, Dec. 5 at approximately 4 a.m.

After several hours of negotiations by Natchitoches SWAT Crisis Negotiators, Dauzat suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Hewas transported from the scene to Rapides Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Alexandria were he was pronounced dead at 6:45 a.m. according to Natchitoches Parish Coroner Steven Clanton.

The body is being transported to Shreveport for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

No officers were injured during the incident.

Sheriff Victor Jones said, “This is a very unfortunate incident. We feel for the Dauzat family at this time, and extend our thoughts and prayers to them'”