Suspect pulled out gun in grocery store, police confirm

INCIDENT- Screenshot from Google maps of Rouses on West Pine Street where police say a customer pulled out a gun in a confrontation with another customer on Monday night.

In response to internet rumors, Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson confirmed that an incident occurred at the Rouses grocery store on West Pine Street in which a customer pulled a gun out during a confrontation with another customer. 

"The manager at Rouses told us that he broke up the confrontation and we arrived shortly after," Layrisson said. "No shots were fired and no one was injured."

James Teel Jr., 27, is in police custody and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm following Monday night's disturbance. 

Rumors online suggested that the incident began over issues related to mask usage. Layrisson said that those rumors are not accurate. 

"We've heard that the confrontation began when one customer bumped into the other's buggy," Layrisson said. "They exchanged words and that's when it is believed that Teel pulled his gun out."

Layrisson said that it was discovered that Teel had a concealed carry permit and that a review for suspension of that permit has been completed. 

"This incident is a very unusual event for this area," Layrisson. "I will say there has been more concealed and open carry people in public than in the past but that hasn't been a part of a bigger issue."

Layrisson also added that there are a number of businesses in Ponchatoula that do not allow open or conceal carry permit users and that decision is an individual choice by the business owner and not based on a law or mandate. 

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