Sheriff: armed robbery of drugs motive in Jan. shootout

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sheriff’s investigators say they have put together a clear motive and a chain of events that led to the shootout on Ben’s Ford Road the morning Jan. 25.

That incident led to the arrest of four men and the seizure of two pounds of marijuana. At the time, Chief Deputy Mike Haley said he suspected drugs might have been a motivating factor for the early morning gunplay.

This week, he confirmed that allegedly Joseph Peoples and Norwood S. Lacrosse committed armed robbery and stole marijuana from Etric Peterson’s home on Sixth and Avenue G.

“Our investigators suspected the armed robbery on the day of the Ben’s Ford Road incident but were not able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together immediately,” he said. “They remained focused on the issue, though, and developed credible evidence that the armed robbery did occur.”

Haley said Peoples is again in parish jail, charged with armed robbery. Peoples was initially arrested in January for the shootout and charged with illegal discharge of a firearm and obstruction of justice, after he allegedly ran from officers. But he bonded out of custody.

On Feb. 10, Peoples was arrested again, this time charged with armed robbery.

Haley said sheriff’s deputies did not have to look far for Peoples, as they arrested him when he returned to the sheriff’s offices to pick up some belongings.

He is now being held on a $50,000 bond.

The other man, Lacrosse, who allegedly also ran and hid from sheriff’s investigators Jan. 25, has had another charge of principal to armed robbery added to his record.

“His total bond now (Ben’s Ford incident plus the new charge) is $171,000,” Haley said. “Meanwhile, the third person in the scenario, Etric Peterson, remains in jail with a bond of $751,000. Peterson was the victim of the armed robbery by Peoples.”