RACELAND, La. -- A south Louisiana man attacked his former in-laws, his current wife, and the
head of a hospital where he'd worked, killing three before killing himself,
The shootings happened at four locations in two parishes about 45 miles
southwest of New Orleans on Thursday. The first report came about 6:40 p.m.,
when Lafourche Parish Councilman Louis Phillip Gouaux - who was shot in the
throat - called 911 from his home in Lockport, Houma, La., newspaper The Courier reported.
The suspect, Ben Freeman, 38, was the ex-husband of Gouaux's daughter
Jeanne, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Brennan Matherne said in a
Gouaux's wife, Susan "Pixie" Gouaux, was dead when deputies
arrived, Matherne said. Louis Phillip Gouaux and his daughter, Andrea Gouaux,
were injured and taken to University Hospital in New Orleans. Both were in
critical but stable condition, Matherne said.
About 20 minutes later in Raceland, Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital
administrator Milton Bourgeois was shot and killed at close range at his home,
Matherne said. His wife, Ann Bourgeois, was shot and taken to the New Orleans
hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.
Raceland police said Bourgeois was shot at close range and his wife was shot
in the leg.
Freeman had been employed at three area hospitals over the last few years,
including St. Anne, where Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said he had been
a registered nurse before he was fired in 2011. All three hospitals were put on
lockdown for a while Thursday.
Freeman's wife, Denise Taylor Freeman, was found dead in the couple's home
in Houma in Terrebonne Parish. Matherne said her cause of death was not
A shotgun was used in the shootings, deputies said.
Ben Freeman was found along U.S. Highway 90 near Bayou Blue, dead of a
self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Lafourche Parish sheriff said Jeanne Gouaux had filed multiple
protective orders against Freeman, who had pleaded guilty to harassment charges
and was allowed only supervised visits with their four children. The last
protective order expired less than a month ago, he said.
"Clearly, there has been a very difficult and complicated
divorce/custody issue going on," Webre said during a news conference late
Webre could not comment on why Ben Freeman was terminated from St. Anne
Hospital, but noted that police were called there after Freeman damaged a room.
He told police then that he would seek mental help, Webre said.