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BREAKING: Louisiana Cop Critically Wounded, Gunman Killed In Shootout At Shopping Center

Denham Springs, LA – A Denham Springs police officer is in critical condition, and the gunman who shot him is dead, after a gunfight at a shopping center late on Thursday afternoon.

The attack occurred at the Spring Park Plaza on South Range Avenue at approximately 4:20 p.m. on May 11, WWL reported.

The shopping center, which is among the busiest sections of town, includes an Office Depot and a Petco, as well as many other stores, according to The Advocate.

Denham Springs Police Department (DSPD) Chief Rodney Walker said officers responded to the parking lot of the retail center after receiving reports of a dispute between a man and a woman outside the Petco.

But when they arrived at the scene, a male suspect opened fire on them, according to Chief Walker.

“We returned fire, and one of my guys was hit,” he said, according to The Livingston Parish News.

The chief confirmed the officer, later identified as Denham Springs Police Corporal Shawn Kelly, was struck “multiple times.”

A video posted to social media showed three officers rushing to Cpl. Kelly’s aid in the wake of the shooting, The Advocate reported.

They performed chest compressions and worked frantically to save him before he was rushed to a local hospital.

The gunman fired off more rounds after shooting Cpl. Kelly, then sped away northbound on Range Avenue, according to police.

As he reached U.S. Highway 190, he was intercepted by Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) deputies, The Livingston Parish News reported.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said the suspect came out of the vehicle “with a gun,” at which point deputies fired at him.

The gunman was wounded and was subsequently transported to the hospital.

He was later identified as 30-year-old Justin Roberts, WBRZ reported.

The LPSO confirmed later on Thursday night that Roberts died from his wounds at the hospital.

Cpl. Kelly remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday morning, WBRZ reported.

“The DSPD continues to ask for prayers for Corporal Shawn Kelley, his family, and the entire DSPD family,” DSPD Spokesperson Scott Sterling told WWL.

“This community loves their police officers and sheriff’s deputies,” Chief Walker said during an emotional press briefing on Thursday night, according to The Livingston Parish News. “Come together and pray for us and pray for your police man that’s down right now. We need those prayers. We need people to hit their knees and pray.”

A massive contingent of law enforcement officers descended on the two shooting scenes on Thursday, including the DSPD, LPSO, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) Louisiana State Police (LSP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), among others, The Livingston Parish News reported.

One witness told WAFB she was working in a store warehouse when the gunfire erupted.

“We came outside and we just saw the officer on the ground and they were doing CPR on him,” the employee said.

Another witness said she grabbed her daughter and ran inside one of the stores when the shootout began.

“I heard the police officer scream ‘Stop’ as the vehicle was driving away, and then I heard the gunshots,” she later told WAFB. “And I turned to look, and then I saw both people exchanging gunfire. So, I turned and ran and tried to take shelter, while the cop was standing behind his vehicle trying to protect himself.”

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of The Police Tribune’s posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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