Wildlife agent shoots, kills
alleged murderer in self defense
Originally published at http://www.neworleans.net/
February 2, 2001
GALLIANO, La. (AP) -- A state wildlife agent
looking for poachers found and killed a killer, police said.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Department agent,
whose name was not released, was patrolling a remote area and stopped to check a
Mercury Cougar parked in a sugar cane field.
Shawn M. Esponge, 36, got out of the car and
fired a revolver at the agent, who was hit by shrapnel, Lafourche Parish Sheriff
Craig Webre said.
The agent shot back, hitting Esponge several
times in the chest.
The body of Golden Meadow resident Thomas J.
Gavin, 41, lay near the car. Esponge apparently had shot Gavin in the chest
shortly before the wildlife agent arrived, Webre said.
Police are investigating Gavin's death as a
homicide. Webre said he believed Thomas and Esponge knew one another.
Police found marijuana and crack cocaine inside
Esponge's car, Webre said.
The agent was patrolling the area because
poachers often illegally shoot rabbit and deer at night, said Captain Joe
Matessa, of the Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division.
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