After Shootings, LA Considers Arming Insurance Investigators


After two unarmed Louisiana insurance fraud investigators were gunned down while looking into a case, the state insurance commissioner said his department may ask their agents to carry weapons, reports theKim Sledge and Rhett Jeansonne had been on what appeared to be a routine assignment to collect records from suspended insurance agent John Melvin Lavergne at his office half a block off Ville Platte’s main street. State police say Lavergne shot the investigators, holed up in his business and shot himself to death.

Investigators don’t carry weapons but can request that they be accompanied by state police on such visits, state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said. The department would review safety and security procedures before investigators would be armed, Donelon said. In Ville Platte, a city of about 8,000 people in the heart of Cajun country, the shootings were stunning. Lavergne grew up in the town and had been an insurance agent for almost 35 years. The police chief described him as a friendly man who never caused trouble.

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