POSTED: Friday, March 16, 2012 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 16, 2012 - 1:31pm
ST. BERNARD, LA — A man shot several times at St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s detectives Thursday, March 15 when they tried to see about his 12-year-old son who wasn’t attending school and was living with the father in a makeshift shed without electricity.
Detectives returned fire but no one was injured in the incident which happened about 10:20 a.m. outside of where the father, John Kain, 52, and his son were living in the 4900 block of East St. Bernard Highway in eastern St. Bernard.
The son, who was with Kain, was taken by detectives who moved in after the boy threw himself to the ground when officers set off a non-lethal flash to distract the pair.
After the flash, Kain began shooting at deputies as he ran away, Pohlmann said. Officers also fired back at him but no one was hit. A check of the surrounding area also found no one else had been struck by fire, Pohlmann said.
The gunman ran to nearby Francis Street at Saturn Court in the Violet area and surrendered as detectives closed in, Pohlmann said. He was taken to St. Bernard Parish Prison.
“We are glad it ended without anyone getting hurt,’’ Pohlmann said.
Chief of Detectives Col. John Doran was on the scene as detectives formulated a plan to try to get the child from the father to make sure he was okay, Pohlmann said.
Detectives also had a warrant for Kain’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge of improper supervision of the boy, who had not attended school since January, Pohlmann said.
He said the primary reason the Sheriff’s Office was involved was to check on the child’s welfare because of the environment he was living in with the father, who had made a makeshift shed, that didn’t have electricity, behind his ex-mother-in-law’s trailer in eastern St. Bernard.
Pohlmann said Kain may have fired up to four shots at sheriff’s detectives, who returned fire back at him.
Kain was booked with attempted murder of the officers, on the warrant charge and with illegal carrying of a gun - a 9 mm which when recovered during Kain’s arrest was missing four rounds from a clip that held 17, Pohlmann said.
The boy, who was emotionally distraught after the incident, was taken as a precution to Chhildren’s Hospital and will live afterward with his mother or another relative, authorities said.
Kain and the boy’s mother are divorced and there is no legal custody established for the son but he has been living with the father, Pohlmann said.
The warrant for Kain’s arrest had been issued by a judge in February but attempts by both the Sheriff’s Office and representatives of the state child protective services to check on the boy in the shed were met with resistance by Kain.
Kain wouldn’t let anyone inside the shed and said he had a gun and would use it if necessary, Pohlmann said.
The father would only let detectives from the sheriff’s juvenile division talk to the boy through a window.
Since Wednesday, March 14, sheriff’s detectives had been conducting surveillance on Kain, even as he left the residence, Pohlmann said. But the father would go outside only with the boy in front of him, almost as a shield, Pohlmann said.
On Thursday, dectectives saw Kain and the boy leave and followed them into New Orleans but took no action until the father and son returned to their residence, Pohlmann said.
The plan to distract them by setting off a non-lethal flash to startle them worked because the boy went to the ground and was safely taken by detectives.
But when Kain began running toward St. Bernard Highway to get away from detectives he fired at them as he moved, which drew fire back from detectives. When confronted by officers, Kain decided to stop and surrender, Pohlmann said.