A Zachary firefighter who is also a part-time police officer was killed on Monday night outside the Walmart in Baker while helping in an undercover police operation and two people have been booked into jail for the incident.
According to East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks, Albert Franklin, 33, and Ashley Chaney, 30, were both arrested after it was discovered that they were connected to the incident.
Franklin who resides at 4979 St. Louis Street, Zachary, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of first-degree murder, hit and run, simple criminal damage to property and fugitive from Zachary police. Chaney who resides at 2424 Toledo Street, Baker, was booked on obstruction of justice.
A report from East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux claimed the officer who got killed was working undercover with another Zachary police officer looking for a suspect wanted on felony drug charges.
Franklin was wanted on active warrants for aggravated second-degree battery, felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated assault of a firearm, according to reports.
Deputies were made to understand by witnesses that the officers were reaching out to people inside a U-Haul truck parked in the Walmart parking lot, 14507 Plank Road. The U-Haul truck was seen “fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed” while one of the officers held tight to the passenger side of the vehicle.
According to the arrest reports by deputies, the officer fell from the moving vehicle and was struck by its back tires.
A surveillance video from the scene showed one officer moving toward the passenger side of the vehicle and a second officer moving toward the driver side.
As indicated by the arrest reports, the driver of the U-Haul sped forward and turned the vehicle “in an invasive manner,” striking the police officer on the passenger side.
When the U-Haul was later discovered on Comite Road, Franklin and Chaney had fled into the woods close-by. They were arrested without incident.
Franklin told deputies that he was aware that he was wanted by Zachary police and that he was driving the U-Haul at the time of the incident, according to the arrest reports.
According to Chaney, Franklin knew one of the Zachary police officers who approached the vehicle and particularly identified the officer by name.
As indicated by the arrest reports, Chaney also said that after they left the U-Haul truck, she disposed of Franklin’s clothes and other personal items in the woods.
Franklin has a broad criminal history, which includes arrests on counts of attempted second-degree murder, illegal possession of a stolen firearm and narcotics-related counts.
The officer who was killed has not been identified. Zachary Fire Department Chief of Operations Glenn Triche confirmed late Monday that he was also a deputy fire chief.