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Accused Serial Killer Hunted People Like Deer, Said He Was Filling 'Tags' For Government, Police Say
Ryan Sharpe's alleged murder spree kept the rural community of East Feliciana Parish on edge for weeks.
A Louisiana man accused of three murders in 2017 told police he was killing people to fulfill "tags," like he would in deer hunting season.
Ryan Sharpe, 36, from East Feliciana Parish, was arrested in October 2017. He told deputies he murdered three men, according to The Advocate, to fill hunting tags that the government had given him. He said he used five tags by killing a deer ― worth two ― and three men. He also told police he had 12 more tags.
His alleged victims are Carroll Breeden, 66, Brad DeFranceschi, 48, and Thomas Bass, 62. Sharpe also shot Buck Hornsby, 47, in September of 2017, deputies said, but he survived.
Because Sharpe believed he was supposed to report filling out the tags to the government, he called the East Feliciana Sheriff's Office and told them he was the one responsible for the shootings, according to sheriff's office report. The call led to his arrest.
"It’s an awesome feeling to know that no matter how you resolved this issue, that it was resolved," East Feliciana Sheriff Jeff Travis told the Advocate. "It was the greatest feeling in the world to know that safety was restored to our community.”
Sharpe was methodical about the killings, according to deputies, and he liked to watch his victims suffer. He would leave his phone or take out its battery so he wouldn't be tracked. He actually knew Bass before he allegedly killed him, and he backed into the man's driveway and asked to put air in his tire before he took action, according to the arrest report.
Three of the four men shot other were in their front yard, doing yard work or exercising.
The killings, carried out in a rural area just north of Baton Rouge, put residents on edge for weeks, according to KALB-TV in Alexandria.
"I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as much fear in our community as we saw late last summer and fall," East Feliciana Chief Deputy Greg Phares told The Advocate. "The random-ness of it, the fact that nobody knew who might be targeted next and the fact that people felt like they could not go about their daily business, they couldn’t go to the mailbox, they couldn’t cut their yard. It was really affecting people’s lives."
On Wednesday, a hearing to see if Sharpe was competent enough to stand trial was postponed, and Sharpe did not appear in the courtroom, according to The Advocate.
"I believe his mental state, which was questionable at the start, has deteriorated," Baton Rouge lawyer Tommy Damico said.
[Photo: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office]