The man accused of perpetrating one of the deadliest incidents of domestic violence in recent history, leaving five dead in a Louisiana shooting, was apprehended by police in Virginia on Sunday morning, according to CNN. Dakota Theriot allegedly killed his girlfriend, 20-year-old Summer Ernest, along with her brother and father on Saturday, before shooting and killing both of his parents in their home.
Theriot has been living with his girlfriend’s family for several weeks, and the shootings followed the Ernests’ decision to kick him out of the house. Theriot was angry due to what authorities described to WAFB as a “boyfriend [and] girlfriend type of dispute."
Authorities identified Theriot as the suspect according to his father’s testimony, before he died from the shooting wounds.
"This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I've seen in quite a while," Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby told CNN.
The Ernests’ tragedy is all too common in America today. According to the National Correlation Against Domestic Violence, one in four women experience severe physical violence (e.g. beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime, which is most common among women 18-24 years old. When a gun is present, the risk of these violent incidents resulting in death rises 500%.
Like in the case of the Ernest family, intimate partner violence doesn’t just apply to the partners themselves. The NCADV reports that a fifth of victims are family members of the partner, neighbors, police, or bystanders.
Theriot is being taken back to Louisiana, where he will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons, investigators told CNN on Sunday.
This is a breaking news report, and Refinery29 will update as appropriate.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.