By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone
Doyline, LA – Doyline Police Department (DPD) Officer William “Billy” Earl Collins was murdered in the line of duty on July 9 while responding to a domestic disturbance.
Officer Collins, who was also a full-time correctional supervisor at the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO), was working his part-time DPD job when he was killed, KTBS reported.
The incident began at about 6 p.m. on July 9 when law enforcement officers responded to a call about a disturbance in the 400-block of Green Tree Road.
When the officers – including two WCSO deputies – arrived on the scene, they were greeted by gunfire, KTBS reported.
Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said that Officer Collins was first to the arrive at the scene.
The veteran officer was shot in the head, KTBS reported.
The other two deputies with him were not wounded.
Louisiana State Police Troop G Spokesman Jonathan Odom said the gunman barricaded himself inside a mobile home after he shot Officer Collins and engaged in a standoff with law enforcement for more than four hours, KTBS reported.
More than 200 law enforcement officers from agencies all over the state responded to the scene to assist, the Minden Press-Herald reported.
Shortly before 11 p.m., gunshots were heard from inside the mobile home and then an ambulance transported the suspect from the scene to a waiting helicopter.
He had been found suffering from a gunshot wound inside the home and remained hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday, KPLC reported.
Officer Collins was flown to Ochsner LSU Health, where he died approximately two hours after being shot, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“It’s a very sad event for me to be able to come up here and speak to y’all, but I’ve got to give somebody justice,” Sheriff Parker told reporters at the scene. “I’m very sad to say tonight, around 7:43 p.m., we lost a good man. The family lost a good husband, a good father, a good Webster Parish deputy, and a good patrol officer for the City of Doyline, that loved and served his citizens well.”
“It just breaks my heart, because every time we put on this uniform, and we go out and try to serve the public, this could happen to any one of us,” the sheriff said.
He said that Officer Collins had been serving the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office as a deputy for 10 years, the Minden Press-Herald reported.
“My heart goes out to the family, my main focus over the next few days, next few weeks, months, is going to support them, and give them all that I can to help make this better and give them some closure,” Sheriff Parker said.
The sheriff refused to name the suspect at the press conference, the Minden Press-Herald reported.
“We have the suspect in custody, but the only name I’m going to mention tonight is Deputy, Doyline Police Officer, William Earl Collins Jr., also known as Billy,” he insisted. “He will be truly missed, and I cannot say how hard it is for me to say that for us tonight.”
Doyline Mayor Steven Bridwell said “Billy was loved in the community,” the Minden Press-Herald reported.
“I’ve lived in this quiet community just about all my life, and this has got to be the most tragic day that I’ve experienced here, and I never thought I’d see this here, in our community,” Bridwell said.
He asked residents to keep Deputy Collins’ family in their prayers, the Minden Press-Herald reported.
Officer Collins will be laid to rest on July 16, KLFY reported.
🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Police Officer William Earl Collins, Jr.
Doyline Police Department, Louisiana
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) July 11, 2021
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sends it’s condolences to the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office and Doyline Police Department for the loss of Deputy William Earl Collins Jr. Our thoughts and prayers are with your agency, Deputy Collins’ family, friends, and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/15GQDGOKp7
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) July 11, 2021
.@ATFNewOrleans offers support and prayers to the family, co-workers, and friends of Officer William Earl Collins, Jr. of the Webster Parish SO who was working part-time for the Doyline PD when he was killed responding to a disturbance call on July 9, 2021. #EOW #LODD pic.twitter.com/YXU7TcVEj1
— ATF New Orleans (@ATFNewOrleans) July 11, 2021
The men and women of Constable Mark Herman's Office extend their heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer William Earl Collins Jr., who was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance.
— Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 (@Pct4Constable) July 10, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Doyline Police Department (DPD) Officer William “Billy” Earl Collins, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer William Collins, your life mattered.