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Community reacts to officer involved shooting

Photo provided by staff.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 6:28pm

People living in the Happywoods Subdivision are still processing after an officer involved shooting in their neighborhood.

"It's kind of odd. I know these things happen every now and then in places, but It just didn't seem like something that would happen around here," Joel Epperson, who lives in the subdivision, said. "...Because, like I said It's pretty quiet."

State Police are investigating the shooting. They said it happened Tuesday afternoon in the 42000 block of Deborah Drive.

They said in a statement, "The preliminary investigation indicated that shortly after 12:30 p.m., deputies with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office responded to a domestic disturbance complaint at a residence on Deborah Drive. When deputies arrived at the residence they encountered 48-year-old Michael J. Nichols actively attacking his mother, Barbara Nichols. Upon observing the imminent threat of life, deputies used lethal force fatally wounding him. Michael Nichols was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's office. "

Those who lived near the Nichols say the family stayed to themselves.

"We'll I'm so sad for the family. I know that it was an older couple that lived there. Quiet peaceful people I didn't know the son," Said Brenda Jolly, who lives in the subdivision.

FOX44 caught up with the victim's family. They didn't want to appear on camera. They said they are still grieving and would give a statement soon.

A family member did tell us Michael Nichols had a history of mental illness.

State police are still investigating what happened, as they traditionally do, when someone's shot by a law enforcement officer.

"...Gathering all the evidence interviewing witnesses interviewing everybody involved. At that point the detectives will put their case together in reference to everything that happened here," Greg Marchand, State Police spokesman for Troop L, said.

Some neighbors of the Nichols said they would have like to see the deputies take a different action.

"I think that they could have wounded him instead of killed him," Jolly said.

The information will then be forwarded to the the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney's Office.

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