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Four people have died and two are injured after separate shootings in Raceland in Lafourche Parish. Lafourche Parish spokesman Brennan Matheme said in a news release Thursday that parish CouncilmanMore >>
Four people are dead, including the suspect, and three others remain hospitalized after a killing spree in south Louisiana Thursday night.More >>
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An Alabama man has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his 2-year-old son at a relative's home in central Indiana. The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/1fTQx7w) Micah Harrison of Robertsdale,More >>
An Alabama man has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his 2-year-old son at a relative's home in central Indiana. More >>
NEW ORLEANS, LA (FOX 8) -
details have emerged about what may have led to a deadly rampage last week across
two Louisiana parishes, as court documents reveal the troubling past of the
shooter and his relationship with the victims.
Freeman, 38, of Houma, went on a violent rampage in Lafourche and Terrebonne
Thursday, people were left wondering why.
didn't know of anything going on," said Rita Bonvillian, a friend of some
of the victims. "If he was harboring, or if something triggered, I don't
shot and killed his former mother-in-law, Susan "Pixie" Gouaux, and
then shot her husband, Lafourche Parish Councilman Phillip Gouaux. Before
leaving the house, he also shot his former sister-in-law, Andrea. Freeman
continued on to the home of his former boss, killing Milton Bourgeouis and
wounding his wife.
current wife, Denise, was later found dead in the couple's home. Police said
she was strangled and drowned in a bath tub.
just think people just don't want to believe people will take these kinds of
actions," said Mary Claire Landry, executive director of the New Orleans
Family Justice Center.
actions, long before the murders, may have been indicators of what would later
unfold. Freeman married Jeanne Gouaux in 2007, but Gouaux filed for divorce in
May of 2011. Custody exchanges of the couple's four children became heated, and
Freeman was eventually granted supervised visitation with his kids.
began asking the court for restraining orders against Freeman. According to FOX
8 NEWS, a copy of one of the petitions for protection that was filed in May of
2013 was obtained.
over a year now, Ben has constantly harassed me via text messages," Jeanne
Gouaux wrote. "Some days I can receive 20 to 30 messages from him. I just want
the mental and verbal torment to stop. He is even texting me while he has
visitation with our children. I am afraid of Ben because he has some mental
think the unfortunate thing, for law enforcement, you know, until he really
commits the crime, there's really not a whole lot you can do. I mean, we can
put these protective measures in place, but he was obviously determined that he
was going to hurt several people," Landry explained.
Jeanne Gouaux and her father filed a complaint against Freeman, and in October,
he pleaded guilty to criminal telephone harassment charges. Freeman was placed
on probation for a year. At the time, he was married to Denise. Trouble between
them surfaced in November, when Ben Freeman was issued a citation for simple
battery domestic violence. His court date was scheduled for Jan. 16, 2014.
been working as a nurse and was previously employed at St. Anne General
Hospital until he was fired two years ago for allegedly damaging a room.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said at the time, Freeman promised he
would seek mental help.
threats, you have to look at the history of the protective orders. You have to
look at the history of the unemployment," Landry added.
Freeman's past is troubling and more needs to be done in the future to prevent
something like this from happening again.
is a case where, I think, the systems really are not working together and are
not really looking at what kind of interventions are needed in these kind of situations.
There's got to be something else we can do until after the fact, when he's
already done all of his damage," Landry said.