Two shot, another found dead in Franklinton

Published 10:32 pm Friday, December 20, 2013

What started with an armed robbery in Franklinton late Thursday ended with the robbery victim and a Franklinton police officer shot and the suspect’s mother, Robin Dillon, found dead inside a home he allegedly set on fire.

Christopher Dillon, 20, was ultimately charged with armed robbery, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and aggravated arson. Additional charges may be filed.

According to Master Trooper Greg Marchand, spokesman for Louisiana Police Troop L, Terry Partman of Franklinton called 911 and reported that he’d been robbed at gunpoint and shot in the arm near the intersection of 16th Avenue and Alford Street. He identified his assailant as Dillon and told police Dillon had run toward the trailer where he lived.

Franklinton police officers went to the trailer, identified themselves and made entry through a door, which was cracked open. Marchand said Dillon then fired a shot that went through the door and struck an officer (Sgt. Chad Dorsett) in the left forearm, with that bullet becoming lodged in his bulletproof vest.

Dillon then retreated down a narrow hall and, after claiming that he surrendered several times, set fire to the trailer, Marchand said. Dillon tried to flee the burning trailer by jumping out of a window, and he eventually surrendered to police without further incident, the trooper added.

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Haley was on the scene.

“The Franklinton Police Department believed he was holding his mother hostage. She was 42, and she’d just gotten out of the hospital after surgery,” Haley said.

Police called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance, and it responded in force, sending officers, a SWAT team, a sniper and several supervisors, including Sheriff Randy Seal.

“We surrounded the house,” Haley said. “It was kind of a stand off. Dillon came to the front door a time or two, but when officers yelled for him to surrender, he went back in.”

Then the officers noticed smoke starting to billow out of the residence.

“The smoke increased, and then flames were visible through the window,” Haley said. “He broke out the window and leaned out, but when officers ran to grab him, he pulled back in.”

But as the fire grew Dillon was forced to make an escape. He crawled out of the window and was taken into custody. He was taken to Riverside Medical Center to be checked out and later booked into the Washington Parish Jail, where he remained on suicide watch Friday.

Marchand said once the fire was extinguished a search of the trailer revealed the body of a female on the floor and a Ruger 9mm. It is believed to be Dillon’s mother, but positive identification and cause of death are pending an autopsy.

“Nobody knows how she died, but nobody heard screams during the fire,” Haley added.

The Franklinton Police Department was charged with processing the scene of the armed robbery and attempted murder of Partman, and the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations is processing the scene where the Franklinton officer was shot, the fire was started and the body was discovered.

Partman was transported to Riverside Medical Center with severe right arm injuries then transferred to University Hospital in New Orleans. Dorsett was treated for left forearm injuries and released.