MARRERO, La. -- The victims were identified as deputy Sheila Thomas, 27; her daughter, Chantelle Osborne, 4; Carl Osborne, father of the child; Myrtle Griffin, 44, Ms. Thomas' mother; and Thor Griffin, 45, the deputy's stepfather.
The victims apparently were caught by surprise when the gunman barged into the home 15 miles southwest of New Orleans about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Three never got away from the table where they were eating shrimp, said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee.
The victims were identified as deputy Sheila Thomas, 27; her daughter, Chantelle Osborne, 4; Carl Osborne, father of the child; Myrtle Griffin, 44, the deputy's mother; and Owen Griffin, 45, the deputy's stepfather.
The bodies of Chantelle, Osborne and Griffin were found in chairs at the dining room table. Ms. Thomas was found lying face-down on the den floor and her mother was found in an adjoining utility room, Lee said.
The child was found alive but was pronounced dead on arrival at West Jefferson General Hospital.
Five first-degree murder warrants were issued for Leslie Lowenfield, 30, of Harvey, La., a former boyfriend of Ms. Thomas.
'It was kind of a stormy relationship between them,' Lee said. 'It was an on-again, off-again relationship. We had arrested him the Tuesday before and he had threatened to kill her.
'I'm not sure she believed he would try to kill her, but he was bothering her. I believe she was trying to get some kind of court order to keep him from bothering her.'
Mrs. Griffin apparently tried to run from the gunman, but was shot as she fled to the utility room, the sheriff said. The victims were shot at least once with a .22-caliber weapon, which was not found at the scene. Officers said they did not know if it was a handgun or rifle.
Lowenfield was arrested last week after he assaulted and threatened Ms. Thomas at a cafe, said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Bob Garner, and he also had threatened Osborne.
Ms. Thomas worked as a corrections officer at the parish corrections center.