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Deputy Sheriff Surrenders, Frees Hostages; One Killed During Standoff

October 18, 1996

HOUMA, La. (AP) _ As a teller lay dead of a gunshot wound in the lobby, a deputy sheriff ended a 24-hour standoff Friday by peacefully walking out of a bank with his estranged wife and another hostage.

Chad Louviere, 24, was still wearing his uniform when officers set off a concussion grenade to distract him and tackled him as he escorted the two hostages out the back door. He did not struggle.

Louviere’s motive for storming the bank and allegedly shooting the teller Thursday was unclear.

He was taken to the sheriff’s department in Terrebonne Parish, about 50 miles southwest of New Orleans. No charges were immediately filed.

The dead woman was identified as ArgentBank teller Pamela Duplantis, 27, the mother of a 9-year-old girl.

State police spokesman Danny Franklin said she was shot in the head as Louviere rounded up the bank employees.

The last two hostages, both tellers, were identified as Adele Louviere and Janene Blanchard. They were treated at a hospital and released ``in very good shape, considering,″ spokesman Robert Callahan said.

``They held up. They were strong right to the end,″ Franklin said. ``With their help, we were able to resolve the situation without any further violence.″

Louviere also was identified by police as a suspect in a rape Thursday morning, about two hours after he reported for duty and shortly before the standoff began. A woman claimed she was stopped by an officer in a patrol car, told she was speeding, ushered into the car and raped near a sugar cane field.

Gunshots were heard in the bank shortly after Louviere entered at about 11 a.m. Thursday, police said. Three hostages were released individually several hours later and Louviere also gave up some weapons.

The Louvieres separated about six months ago.

Police Chief Keith Estevens told the newspaper that Louviere was an intelligent but troubled officer.

``I’m not surprised,″ Estevens said. ``He had problems. That’s all I’m saying.″

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