Breaux Bridge Officer Forced to Fire Weapon Killing Darnesha Harris
December 3, 2012 — A community up in arms over the death of 17 year old Darnesha Harris. Last night Breaux Bridge officers respoonded to a disturbance at the 900 block of Landry Street. As officers arrived on scene, Darnesha Harris of Breaux Bridge was driving a Toyota Corolla toward their unit vehicle. Harris struck the front of the officer's unit with her vehicle, then placed it in reverse, striking another parked vehicle on the roadway. After hitting the parked car, Harris drove forward, traveled through a ditch, and struck a bystander and another parked vehicle. In response, one of the responding officers exited his vehicle and fired multiple shots in defense. Harris was transported to a hospital and later died as a result of her injuries. The bystander was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. The community is not responding well to this officer-involved shooting.
"Any time that we have an officer involved shooting each one is unique and it's different; therefore, you have to kind of take a look at it case by case. There is of course standards that are put into place, but as far as what you can actually say when a vehicle is considered a weapon or anything else would be hard to say in this case without haviang all the details to this available," says Trooper Stephen Hammons, State Police.
Trooper Hammons says there are many witnesses to this with different versions of what took place, but nothing will be released until proven factual. Investigators are focusing on the vehicle belonging to Harris to see at what angle the shots were fired, and if Harris was in possession of a weapon. Harris was in the vehicle at the time the shots were fired. No officers on the scene were injured by the collision, and the bystander that was struck is a potential witness so his identity will not be released for his protection. We will keep you updated as this story develops.