All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

WEST CARROLL PARISH (KTVE/KARD) — On December 18, 2022, around 1:43 AM, deputies of the West Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office were called to a residence on Skinner Lane due to several gunshots. Authorities then received a second call where the complainant advised that the suspect set his residence ablaze.

Upon arrival, authorities observed smoke coming from the residence, and the fire department was notified. Deputies also observed the suspect, 28-year-old Heath Taylor Matthews, in the front yard shouting at his neighbors. As deputies gave Matthews verbal commands, he allegedly ran for a tree line behind the property and shouted that deputies would “have to shoot him in the head” and that he was intoxicated.

Matthews then became entangled in a briar thicket and was placed under arrest. As deputies investigated the incident, they noticed that Matthews was extremely intoxicated and allegedly became aggressive with his wife.

Prior to the incident, his wife left their residence with their two children due to their safety. Deputies located an AK-47 in Matthews’ yard with an empty 30-round magazine and several spent casings.

Deputies learned that approximately a dozen rounds were fired inside and outside the residence. According to officials, Matthews was the only person present during the shooting.

He was arrested and transported to the West Carroll Parish Jail. Matthews was charged with Illegal Discharge of a Firearm, Resisting Arrest by Flight, and Disturbing the Peace.