The incident occurred about 10 PM at the Big Boy convenience store on Moss Street near Van Buren. The fallen Lafayette police officer responded to the store for a report of a shooting, and the suspect opened fire upon his arrival, according to 710 KEEL.
Louisiana State Master Trooper Brooks David said, “Upon Lafayette police officers arrival gunfire was exchanged with the subject and we do know that a Lafayette police officer was shot and killed last night. Shortly there after his suspect fled on foot and was captured not far from here by Lafayette Police Department”.
The suspect, Ian Paul Howard, age 28, was arrested on several charges including first-degree murder of a police officer. No details were released on whether Howard had a previous criminal history.
Corporal Middlebrook was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a statement, the Lafayette Police Department said:
“On October 1st 2017, Corporal Michael Paul Middlebrook, a nine year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department, was killed in the line of duty. Corporal Middlebrook leaves to cherish his memory his wife, three-year-old daughter, two stepdaughters, and his parents.
Corporal Middlebrook was born in Thibodaux. He spent the entirety of his career in the patrol section helping and truly serving the community, as was his passion.
The Lafayette Police Department is devastated by this sudden loss. We ask that you keep Corporal Middlebrook’s family and the Lafayette Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.
Accounts have been established in Corporal Middlebrook’s name for provide financial relief to his family.
Donations can be made to City of Lafayette Police Department Fallen Heroes Fund through the Community Foundation of Acadiana via the following link–.”
Two other people were shot during the incident and were transported to a local hospital with what are described as “non-life threatening injuries.” Their identities have not been released.
Corporal Middlebrook was a nine-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department. He is survived by his wife, three-year-old daughter, two stepdaughters, and parents.
In March, he and several other law enforcement officers were honored with the 2017 Heart of Law Enforcement Award presented by Beyond the Badge, according to the Daily Advertiser. He had been nominated for “ongoing contributions to the community he patrols.”
A press release from Beyond the Badge at the time of the award said, “Cpl. Middlebook takes these food items and redistributes them to homeless and less fortunate citizens, including children, in his patrol precinct.” He worked with a local convenience store to collect items that would have been discarded but that were still good.
He was well-known in the community for collecting clothing off-duty and then giving it to people he saw while working who were in need.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lafayette Police Corporal Michael Middlebrook, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Corporal Middlebrook, your life mattered.