Palmetto man arrested for murder after apparent revenge ambush in St. Landry Parish

St. Landry Parish

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — An ambush on Oct. 5 that killed two and injured a third has led to the arrest of a Palmetto man on murder charges, according to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.

Sanplice Christopher Simien, 43, of Palmetto, is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The situation began several days before the shooting, said Guidroz. Michael Thomas was involved in a heated argument with Simien in the Morrow area, and Thomas participated in robbing Simien of between $1,200 and $1,400 in cash.

On Oct. 5, Thomas was in a vehicle with Ladarious Keller, Emerick Simon and Ladrius LeBlanc at a residence on Cook St. in Morrow outside an apparently abandoned mobile home. Simien allegedly ambushed the four men, shooting at their vehicle and then fleeing the area. Thomas died at the scene. Deputies found him in the vehicle.

A resident of Cook Street came to the assistance of Ladarious Keller and Emmerick Simon and drove them to a local hospital. Ladarious Keller died as a result of his injuries at a local hospital; Emmerick Simon was treated for multiple gunshot wounds. Ladrius Leblanc was not injured in this incident and remained at the scene.

Guidroz stated, “I would like to thank the CID Detectives for their hard work and commitment to bring this case to a closure so quickly. Their working together as a team really paid off.” 

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