Seven suspects named in shootings of St. John deputies - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Seven suspects named in shootings of St. John deputies

LaPlace, La.--A day after four Saint John Parish deputies were ambushed and shot, seven suspects have been booked with charges relating to one of the shootings.

DeSoto Parish authorities confirm that six of the seven suspects were under surveillance recently because of suspicious activity, including an apparent association with an anti-government group,the purchase of assault weapons, and a burglary at an RV park there.

Meanwhile, Saint John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said the two wounded officers are making progress.

"I have two very good surviving officers," Tregre said during a Friday afternoon news conference.

Two other deputies were killed in the early morning incident.  Authorities said they still do not know why  the officers were fired upon yesterday. But state police said they have collected substantial evidence in the shooting case.

"Five of them that, we can put in the car at the scene when the initial shots were fired in that vicinity where that sheriff's deputy was hit," said State Police Commander Colonel Mike Edmonson.

The other three officers were shot when making an arrest a short time later at a trailer park.

"We're going to very tediously, very delicately work our way from the initial portion of it to the large scene, multiple locations, multiple weapons, multiple gunshots, we have to account for each one of those and we have to build our case," Edmonson said.

However, Colonel Edmonson said he had limited information when asked about the DeSoto Parish connection.

"We can't verify any of that, it's important that we deal with the facts, that we know. I've talked to the sheriff in DeSoto Parish. Investigators are speaking, our federal partners are speaking...We've received that information. I don't know if it's relevant right now, or if it pertains to what happened yesterday," Edmonson said.

Sheriff Tregre said he visited the families of the four officers and delivered a special message to the deceased officers' families.

"I told their loved ones their father was a hero. The people that they lost their lives for that we have in custody, I believe are some of the most violent, evil people on the planet," said Sheriff Tregre.

Tregre said both of the wounded officers are doing better, and that Deputy Michael Boyington even had the strength to joke from his hospital bed.

"He just wanted me to tell everyone that he'll be back at work Monday," Tregre said.

A blood drive was underway outside the sheriff's office until 8pm. A vigil was set to begin after the blood donations ended.

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