Woman shoots and kills estranged husband in front of their three children at Walmart parking lot
The couple's three children were sitting in a vehicle during the incident as they were to exchange custody
A Louisiana woman has been charged with second-degree murder after she fatally shot her estranged husband in the parking lot of an Alexandria Walmart in front of their three children on Saturday morning, law enforcement officials said.
Thirty-one-year-old Kayla Giles was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center after the incident. She resides at the 6500 block of Coliseum Boulevard in a gated community nearby the store where the incident occurred. Later in the day, police revealed that her bond was set at $500,000. Giles and her husband, 30-year-old Thomas Coutee Jr, had been meeting to exchange custody of their three children. Authorities said Giles shot her husband once in his chest.
Here’s the mug shot for Kayla Coutee who is charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of her husband. pic.twitter.com/njDXcQG8nf— Brooke Buford (@brookebuford) September 8, 2018
Around 11.15 am on Saturday, officers responded to a 911 call about shots fired at the parking lot on Coliseum Boulevard. Upon arrival, they found Coutee lying on the ground and desperately tried to revive him. However, despite their best efforts, Coutee was declared dead at the scene.
The couple's children, none of whom was injured during the shooting, were sitting in a vehicle as both Giles and Coutee were to exchange custody. “The victim was identified as Coutee’s husband, whom she was meeting to exchange custody,” police said.
According to police, the handoff of the children was taking place in "the outer section" of the parking lot. “There were three children present at the time of the shooting,” police said. “None were injured.”
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services made arrangements for the children after they were escorted to police headquarters, and were subsequently released to the custody of family members, KALB reports.
Speaking to Alexandria Town Talk, witnesses claimed emergency responders worked on Coutee and gave him CPR for at least 20 minutes before a privacy barrier was placed around the crime scene. Firefighters and Louisiana State Police arrived soon after.
According to legal documents seen by The Town Talk, Coutee's attorney had filed a motion on August 28 for a new trial to decide the custody of the daughter he shared with Giles. The father had died on his daughter's second birthday, the attorney revealed.
On May 28, Coutee had filed one report with Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office alleging that while the pair were "exchanging custody of the kids," Giles slapped him. He was left with "redness on the left side of his jawline", the report read. Coutee even showed authorities a text which Giles sent to a mutual friend after the incident, saying she "knocked the s*** out of Thomas, it felt good tho."