Shooting suspect in custody

A West Monroe man was booked into the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Friday in connection with a March 25 shooting at Bulldog Crossing Apartments at 2011 West Alabama Avenue in Ruston.

Tomaz C. Austin, 21, of West Monroe, was picked up at the Ouachita Correctional Center by Ruston Police Friday morning on warrants for armed robbery and three counts of attempted second degree murder.

Ruston Police Deputy Chief Chad Hamlin said investigators were able to gather information from victims and witnesses that led to identification of Austin and Cameron Elmore, both from West Monroe, as suspects. Investigators obtained warrants on the two and Elmore was taken into custody on May 13.

Both individuals allegedly fired firearms during the incident. At least three individuals were present at the residence during the shooting, accounting for the three counts of attempted murder.

Austin was arrested in Monroe on May 1 after Monroe Police officers were called to the 1000 block of South 3rd Street about an alleged battery in a parked vehicle.

According to an arrest report, Austin drove away from the area as a Monroe PD officer approached. The report says he led the officer on a chase before crashing his vehicle on Thomas Avenue and fleeing on foot. He was apprehended nearby and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center on charges of resisting an officer, battery of a dating partner, and aggravated flight from an officer. He was also booked on ten other charges, including previous battery and flight charges as well as violation of a protective order.

According to OCC booking records, Austin has been arrested at least five times in Ouachita Parish since 2019. One incident occurred in West Monroe City Court in April 2021. A report from that incident alleges city marshals attempted to execute a warrant on Austin but he fled, jumping several courtroom benches. One bench was destroyed in the ensuing struggle. Austin escaped the building but was caught a few minutes later.

Bail on the Ruston charges was set at $600,000. Elmore has been in the custody of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center since his May 13 arrest with bail set at $1 million.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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