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Crime News Breaking News

Woman Killed Her Estranged Husband At Walmart, In Front Of Their Daughter, Cops Say

Kayla Coutee was supposed to be meeting up with the victim to exchange custody of their daughter, who was celebrating her birthday. 

By Gina Tron

A woman shot her estranged husband while meeting up at a Louisiana Walmart Saturday to exchange custody of their daughter, police say.

Kayla Coutee, 31, was talking with her 30-year-old husband, whose identity hasn't been officially released, in the outer section of the store's parking lot, according to the Alexandria Police Department. That's when the encounter allegedly turned deadly. 

Police responded to a call of shots fired at about 11:15 am. Officers found the victim lying on the ground. He had been shot once in the chest, police say. Emergency personnel responded and attempted to resuscitate the man. However, he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Coutee, was still on scene when police arrived. They cuffed her and took her into custody.

There were three children present at the time of the shooting. The suspect and victim shared custody of their daughter. None of the children have been identified and it's unclear how the other two are related. They have been released into the custody of other family members, according to police.

Coutee was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Her bond has been set as at $500,000.

The Alexandria Town Talk identified the victim as Thomas Coutee Jr.

On Aug. 28, his attorney filed a motion for a new trial regarding their custody arrangement, according to legal documents obtainedby the paper. Those documents claimed that Kayla Coutee had  "history of domestic abuse" toward him and that she had slapped him during a custody argument in May.

Thomas Coutee was welding instructor at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College known for racing all-terrain vehicles. He died on his daughter's 2nd birthday. 

“[He] will be remembered for his kind heart, silliness and sweet Louisiana accent,” FORD Brothers Racing crew stated on Facebook.

[Photo: Alexandria Police Department]