Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported the suspect in two Thursday night shootings has been found deceased inside a vehicle along U.S. Highway 90 in Raceland. Ben Edward Freeman (W/M, D.O.B. 10/06/75) of 202 Louis Drive in Houma was found deceased as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Freeman was the prime suspect in two shooting incidents which resulted in two deaths and three injuries in Lafourche Parish. Susan “Pixie” Gouaux of Lockport and Milton Bourgeois of Raceland both died as a result of gunshot wounds. Lafourche Parish Councilman Louis Phillip Gouaux, his daughter Andrea Gouaux, and Ann Bourgeois were also allegedly shot by Freeman and are currently being treated for their injuries. Authorities in Terrebonne Parish also discovered the body of Denise Freeman, the wife of Ben Freeman, at their Houma residence.
The first incident in Lafourche was reported around 6:40 p.m. on Thursday, December 26, when Councilman L. Phillip Gouaux called 911 to report that he, his wife and daughter had been shot. Upon arrival, deputies found Councilman Gouaux’s wife, Susan (also known as “Pixie”), deceased as a result of the shooting. Councilman Gouaux and his daughter, Andrea, had also suffered injuries in the shooting and were transported to University Hospital in New Orleans for treatment. They are currently listed in critical, but stable condition. Deputies learned Ben Freeman is a former son-in-law of the Gouauxs, having been formerly married to their daughter, Jeanne Gouaux.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Ben Freeman allegedly arrived at the Bourgeois residence in the 2900 block of LA Highway 308 in Raceland and opened fire at that location. Milton Bourgeois, the Administrator at Ochsner St. Anne Hospital in Raceland, was fatally shot at close range in the incident. His wife, Ann Bourgeois, was also shot and injured in the incident. She was transported to University Hospital in New Orleans and is listed in stable condition.
Then late Thursday night, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office reported that Ben Freeman’s current wife, Denise Taylor Freeman, was also found deceased inside the Freemans’ home in Terrebonne Parish. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
At around 10:45 p.m., authorities discovered Freeman’s vehicle parked along U.S. Highway 90 in Raceland. Freeman was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Deputies say Freeman used a shotgun in each of the shootings, including his own.
During the search for Ben Freeman, three area hospitals – Ochsner St. Anne Hospital, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, and Terrebonne General Medical Center – were all placed on lockdown for a period of time due to the incidents. It was learned that Freeman had been employed at each of the hospitals over the last few years at one time or another.
Sheriff Webre thanked all local agencies that assisted the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in the search for Freeman, including members of the Thibodaux Police Department, Lockport Police Department, Golden Meadow Police Department, Port Fourchon Harbor Police, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Additionally, Sheriff Webre thanked the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department and volunteers from the Lafourche Fire District #1 in Raceland who assisted at the respective scenes in Lockport and Raceland.