A mother learned a devastating truth after sharing a post on Facebook about a shooting in Livingston Parish, Louisiana when police informed her that her daughter and son were among the victims.
Rhonda Champagne's two children 20-year-old Summer Ernest and 17-year-old Tanner Ernest were among those who had been killed, another victim was the father of her children, Billy Ernest, 43.
According to Police Dakota Theriot, the suspected gunman had recently started dating Summer before the slaying.
Theriot was dating Summer and had lived with the Ernest family for several weeks, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said. He was recently asked to leave the residence and not return, according to authorities. Theriot's father identified his son as the shooter before dying, authorities said.
Police believe Theriot, 21, gunned them down in their Livingston Parish home before driving to Ascension Parish, where he shot and killed his parents, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, both 50. He fled to Virginia but was found and arrested at his grandmother’s house Sunday morning.
Authorities have yet to disclose a possible motive in the quintuple homicide.
Tanner Ernest and Champagne’s other teen son reportedly lived with her most of the time but the brothers were visiting their father this past weekend. Tanner’s brother wasn’t home when the shooting occurred.
Champagne said that she was at her mother’s home when she learned of her children’s deaths.
Theriot was taken to Northern Neck Regional Jail and is being held without bond, pending a court appearance. He will be transported back to Ascension Parish at a later date and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons; he also faces three counts of first-degree murder and theft of a motor vehicle.