The Associated Press June 7, 2011, 7:34PM ET

2 La insurance fraud investigators fatally shot

Two veteran investigators with the Louisiana insurance fraud division were shot and killed Tuesday while trying to collect information from an agent and a man has barricaded himself inside the business where the shooting happened, authorities said.

The shooting after 1 p.m. killed Rhett Jeansonne and Kim Sledge, said fraud department Commissioner Jim Donelon.

Afterward, a man barricaded himself inside the business that local media identified as Lavergne's Insurance Agency in Ville Platte, a city of about 8,000 people some 70 miles west of Baton Rouge. Louisiana State Police spokesman Stephen Hammons would not say who was barricaded inside or confirm the name of the business.

More than 100 officers including a SWAT team and negotiators have surrounded the business and police believe only one person is inside, Hammons said.

According to a story from KATC-TV, the fraud department in 2009 fined Lavergne's Insurance Agency $16,500 and suspended the license of agent John Melvin Lavergne for six months. The department determined Lavergne provided fraudulent proofs of vehicle insurance several times to the Lafayette Department of Motor Vehicles.

A call to the business Tuesday night went unanswered.


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