NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana state trooper was shot in the head and critically injured Sunday afternoon during a struggle with a man whose pickup truck had run into a ditch after being reported as driving erratically, Louisiana State Police said.
Other drivers stopped to help Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, a 13-year state police veteran in southwest Louisiana and member of a law enforcement family, said Col. Michael Edmonson, head of state police.
“Thank God for several civilians who pulled over,” he said in a telephone interview. “They jumped out, they subdued him, grabbed the trooper’s handcuffs and put them on the suspect. And they rendered first aid” to Vincent, 43.
They also used Vincent’s radio to call other officers to the scene, Sgt. James Anderson, State Police spokesperson for southwest Louisiana, told CBS News.
Dash-cam video from Vincent’s unit reveals the suspect told Vincent, “You’re not dead yet, but you will be soon,” Anderson continued.
Edmonson said the arrested man, Kevin Daigle, 54, of Lake Charles, had a number of previous arrests, though he did not know details. He said he did not know all the charges that Daigle will face, but they will include attempted murder of a police officer.
“It doesn’t look good right now so we’re asking for prayers,” Edmonson said, according to CBS News affiliate WAFB.
Anderson said Vincent was in critical but stable condition Sunday evening, and Daigle also was in a hospital. Edmonson told the Associated Press that among Daigle’s charges will be attempted murder of a police officer.
“He struggled with the guys who came to assist – had some scrapes on him and so on,” Anderson said.
He said both men are white.
Anderson said police had received calls Sunday about a maroon Dodge pickup truck with a camper shell that was driving erratically. A bit later, it was reported in a ditch. The trooper got to the truck at 2:43 p.m., Anderson said.
“Sometime after that, he encountered the driver and a struggle ensued,” he said. “Our trooper was shot in the head.”
Earlier, Edmonson wrote about the shooting on the department’s Facebook page. The message’s subject line was “Trooper Critically Injured – Prayers Needed.”
“Please take a moment from your Sunday afternoon to send prayers and well wishes to the Trooper and his family in this critical time,” Edmonson wrote.
Within an hour, 5,100 people had shared the post and nearly 2,000 had posted messages saying they were praying.
Edmonson said Vincent has a wife and a 9-year-old son. One of Vincent’s brothers is also a state trooper and another is a local police chief, Edmonson said.
As he ended the interview, he said, “Prayers. We need them.”