Broken engagement apparently led to two deaths

Keith Mercier was sitting in his home in the 1300 block of Pier Avenue in Metairie on Saturday evening when a neighbor called him in hysterics.

The woman said she and her children, who had been in their front yard, had just witnessed an act of brutal violence. She was in such a panic that Mercier was barely able to understand her.

Mercier, a private security guard, grabbed his gun and ran outside.

On the woman’s doorstep, he found Jessica Broussard, 26, stabbed numerous times and bleeding to death.

“It had to be the most terrible thing I’ve seen in my life,” he said.

The grisly discovery was just part of a violent sequence that ended with the death of Broussard’s boyfriend, Noah Scott, 29.

Scott, who is alleged to have stabbed Broussard, was shot multiple times after he lunged at Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies with a knife in his hand, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Fortunato said deputies were dispatched to the block at about 10:25 p.m. Saturday, just after the Saints had finished defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFC wild-card game.

When deputies arrived, Broussard was dead, Fortunato said.

He said witnesses told deputies they saw her running across Pier Avenue yelling, “He’s trying to stab me! He’s trying to stab me!”

The witnesses said Scott stabbed Broussard, then returned to his parents’ home across the street.

Mercier said he could see Scott glaring at him out a window. He told officers the murderer was across the street and was armed and dangerous.

Gary Seppi, who lives next door to Scott, had just finished watching the Saints game when he saw something amiss next door.

“I saw him come to the door in a hurry,” Seppi said of Scott.

Minutes later, he said, three deputies converged on the house. “I heard them yell, ‘Drop the knife’ three times,” he said.

According to Fortunato, when deputies arrived at the door, Scott refused to drop the weapon, instead approaching them in an aggressive manner.

“That’s when they fired, but he was told repeatedly to put the knife down,” Fortunato said.

Fortunato couldn’t say Sunday how many bullets the three deputies fired, but witnesses estimated they heard at least 15 shots.

Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sheriff’s Office has yet to name the deputies involved in the shooting, but Fortunato said the names likely will be released Monday.

While authorities didn’t offer a motive for the shooting, family members of Broussard said they believe Scott snapped after Broussard revealed she was having second thoughts about their engagement.

Broussard’s father, Fred Broussard, who lives in Florida, said the couple, who had been dating on and off for about a year, had become engaged on New Year’s Eve. Then on Saturday, he said, his daughter told Scott she wasn’t ready to get married.

Nonetheless, the two decided to watch the Saints game at Scott’s parents’ house, and it was there that Scott chased her outside with the knife.

According to Mercier, Scott had numerous run-ins with the law and was involved in drug dealing in the neighborhood.

Court records show Scott had arrests for marijuana possession, theft and disturbing the peace.

In March, deputies found 244 grams of marijuana in his car after he was pulled over after almost smashing into an oncoming police car. In addition to a DWI charge, Scott was booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He pleaded guilty and received a five-year suspended sentence.

Seppi said Scott and Broussard had come over to his house last year for a Super Bowl party. He admitted that Scott was a troubled man, but said he thought he had put his drug problems behind him as of late.

On Sunday, a dozen friends and family members gathered to mourn Broussard’s death at an apartment in the 300 block of West Esplanade Avenue, where she lived with her mother.

Family members said Broussard graduated from Grace King High School and attended Delgado Community College before working as a dental hygienist.

Terrie Cuevas, Broussard’s aunt, called her a sweet girl with a loving heart.

“She was as smart as a whip,” Cuevas said.

Inda Cole, a family friend, said she’ll always remember Broussard for her striking beauty.

“She had those beautiful blue eyes,” she said. “The blueness would go right through you.”