An unidentified man in Louisiana is being hailed as a hero for shooting and killing the man who had abducted his cousin—just as the abductor had begun stabbing her in an abandoned house.
When Bethany Arceneaux, 29, disappeared on Wednesday night, police and bloodhounds searching the area where unable to locate her. But on Friday morning, 20 of her relatives conducted their own search party. At about noon, one of her cousins came upon the abandoned house and kicked in the back door when he heard screams.
Sheriff’s Capt. Kip Judice said the cousin saw a man start to stab Arceneaux and fired several shots with a handgun. Judice said he told police he wasn’t sure if his gunshots hit the kidnapper in the darkened house.
“The cousin was at the right spot when he heard the screams,” Judice said.
The daring rescue was like a scene out of a Hollywood movie.
Inside the house, officers found the body of Scott Thomas, who Judice said had a child with Arceneaux and had previously violated a restraining order protecting her.
Though Arceneaux was hospitalized with stab wounds, she is expected to recover.
Witnesses had seen the suspect, Thomas, force Arceneaux into his white Buick LeSabre before driving off, Lafayette Police Department spokesman Paul Mouton told ABCNews.com.
“In the state of Louisiana, you have a right to protect yourself and others from imminent bodily harm,” he said. “We believe at this point, based on evidence and statements collected, that this guy was acting in defense of Ms. Arceneaux and thus, was within the state law.”
According to the sheriff’s department, the cousin acted within a state law that allows deadly force to be used to prevent great bodily harm or death.
But Judice said the case also will be reviewed by the district attorney.