Federal fugitive takes own life as Vermilion Parish deputies attempt to take him into custody

Vermilion Parish

ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) — A man pulled over for a traffic stop in Vermilion Parish turned out to be a federal fugitive who fled from deputies and took his own life in a field.

Kelly Vaughn, 43, (also known as Kelly Edward Griffin), was pulled over by Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s deputies at around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning for not wearing a helmet while driving a motorcycle, according to Public Information Officer Eddie Langlinais. Vaughn was pulled over near the intersection of La. 700 and Shelly Rd.

During the traffic stop, Vaughn gave false information about who he was, Langlinais said. He also could not show proper ID. While deputies were investigating, Vaughn allgedly pulled out a handgun, and while he did not point it at deputies, they were forced to draw their own weapons for protection.

Vaughn then fled into a field, and deputies set up a perimeter to keep him in one place. They confirmed that Vaughn was wanted in Casper County, Wyo., and was being hunted by U.S. Marshals on a possession of weapons charge with no bail warrant. Vaughn was considered “armed and dangerous,” as listed in an NCIC database.

Deputies and the Louisiana State Police used drones to keep track of Vaughn’s location while crisis negotiators attempted to get Vaughn to surrender peacefully.

“During negotiations, Vaughn fired shots at the drones and made several statements threatening suicide, stating he was not going back to jail,” said Langlinais in a press release.

At around 4:24 p.m., Vaughn took his own life with his handgun. Deputies were able to see the shooting via drone footage, and though they attempted to get to Vaughn to deliver medical aid, they could “confirm no signs of life.”

According to Sheriff Mike Couvillon, he received calls from several residents in the area, concerned with the magnitude of law enforcement presence around their homes but they were also relieved once the ordeal was over, knowing their families were safe. The Sheriff thanked his deputies, and his Special Response Team for their professionalism, patience, and tactical handling of this type of call. 

“Our deputies and response teams are trained to handle these types of emergencies, and although the loss of any life is never the outcome we hoped for, the ability of the deputies to contain and deal with this type of emergency is an example of their brave and unwavering commitment to protect and serve the people of Vermilion Parish,” said Couvillon.

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