Three of the injured victims from two separate shooting incidents last night in Lafourche Parish are recovering from their wounds.
Four other people, including the gunman, are dead. Thirty eight-year-old Ben Freeman killed himself after attacking his current wife, his former in-laws and his onetime boss at a hospital that fired him.
Freeman's wife, former mother-in-law and the hospital administrator are dead. His wife's cause of death was ruled as strangulation due to suffocation and drowning.
Lafourche and Terrebonne Parish authorities are still working to learn the motive and piece together the sequence of Thursday's events
"While his wife was not a direct target she was an indirect target because her family was targeted. Then you couple that with his decision to attack Mr. Bourgiese and his wife that indicates some mental health issues."
Parish Councilman Louis Phillip Gouaux and his daughter Andrea are both listed in critical but stable condition after surgery early Thursday in New Orleans.
UPDATE: INJURED SHOOTING VICTIMS REMAIN IN STABLE CONDITION
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the injured victims from Thursday night's shootings each remain in stable condition. Detectives learned Andrea Gouaux suffered spinal damage, and her father, Lafourche Parish Councilman L. Phillip Gouaux, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck. Both remain hospitalized at University Hospital in New Orleans. They are both listed in critical, but stable condition, and both are responsive. Meanwhile, the third injured victim, Ann Bourgeois, underwent surgery due to a gunshot wound to the leg. She is recovering and is being transferred to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner.
All three were injured during two separate shooting incidents Thursday night which left two others dead, including Councilman Gouaux's wife, 61-year-old Susan "Pixie" Gouaux, as well as Ann Bourgeois' husband, 67-year-old Milton Bourgeois, CEO at Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital in Raceland. The suspect, Ben Edward Freeman (W/M, D.O.B. 10/06/75) of 202 Louis Drive in Houma was also found deceased inside a vehicle on U.S. Highway 90 as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office also reported the body of Freeman's wife, 43-year-old Denise Freeman, was discovered at her home on Thursday night. On Friday, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter reported Denise Freeman's autopsy revealed her cause of death as asphyxia (strangulation) due to suffocation and drowning, and investigators believe Ben Freeman was responsible for her death.
Meanwhile, autopsies were conducted on Susan "Pixie" Gouaux and Milton Bourgeois today by the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office. Officials determined Gouaux suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body and died as a result of those wounds. Bourgeois, officials discovered, died after suffering a single gunshot wound to the chest at close range.
Detectives worked through the night to process the crime scenes at the Gouauxs' residence on Hyland Drive in Lockport and the Bourgeois' residence on LA Highway 308 in Raceland. Detectives also processed the scene where Freeman took his own life in a sport-utility vehicle on U.S. Highway 90. Detectives say no evidence of any motive, nor any type of suicide note, was found at any of the scenes. The investigation into the incidents is continuing as detectives attempt to learn about the events that led up to Thursday's shootings.
Sheriff Webre said Freeman was connected to each of the victims. Freeman was involved in a custody dispute with his former wife, Jeanne Gouaux, who is the daughter of Councilman Gouaux. The two had four children together, but several incidents have been reported in the last two years, mostly with regard to telephone harassment. Freeman was arrested for harassment in May 2013 and had been served with at least two protective orders, the most recent of which expired in November 2013. Sheriff Webre also indicated Freeman was a former employee of Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital and had been fired in 2011.
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said that on today, December 27, 2013, the investigation continued into the death of Denise Freeman who was pronounced deceased at the scene at 11:10 p.m. Thursday night, Dec. 26, 2013.
The autopsy was performed in Jefferson Parish by their forensic pathologist. The cause of death was ruled as asphyxia (strangulation) due to suffocation and drowning. The investigation has led detectives to believe that Benjamin Freeman is responsible for the death of his wife, Denise Freeman, and have no reason to believe that there was anyone else involved. Benjamin Freeman was found deceased in Lafourche Parish on Thursday night inside of the vehicle that was owned by the couple.
On November 27, 2013, Benjamin Freeman was issued a citation for simple battery domestic violence with Denise Freeman being the victim. The court date was scheduled for Jan. 16, 2014.