Shreveport, LA – Shreveport Police Officer Chateri Payne was fatally shot outside a residence as she was heading to work in uniform on Wednesday night.
The incident occurred in the Caddo Heights neighborhood at approximately 8:20 p.m., the Shreveport Times reported.
Officer Payne, 22, was about to get into her running patrol vehicle to head to police headquarters for her night shift, when she was shot multiple times, according to KTBS.
Officers received a report of “shots fired” and arrived to find the uniformed police officer “suffering serious bodily injury,” Shreveport Police Corporal Marcus Hines told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday night.
Officer Payne was shot least four times, to include a bullet to the head, according to FOX News.
She was rushed to Oschner LSU Hospital, and her relatives and coworkers soon followed to await word of her prognosis.
“Despite their best efforts, Officer Payne succumbed to her injuries within hours of having been transported to the hospital,” Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
KTBS reported that Officer Payne may have been the victim of a domestic altercation, but the department did not confirm that information.
“We will work to identify and apprehend the coward or cowards responsible for the brutal murder of Officer Payne,” Chief Raymond said.
Numerous agencies have banded together to find Officer Payne’s killer, and “will continue to toil until justice is served,” he added.
An individual who was at the residence at the time of the shooting was questioned by police, but is not considered to be a suspect.
“We have lost one of our own,” the Shreveport Police Officer’s Association (SPOA) confirmed in a press release early Thursday morning. “She was young, and she was beautiful. She was proving herself to be a capable professional, dedicated to serving the Citizens of Shreveport.”
The SPOA thanked the citizens of Shreveport for their sympathy and support, and praised the efforts of the emergency room doctors and staff who “fought so hard with us last night,” the release read.
“We lift her family in prayer, and we thank you for allowing her to be a part of us. We stand ready to assist her family and her Academy Classmates,” the SPOA said. “Please continue to pray for the men and women that will work through night and every night to make Shreveport a safer place.”
Officer Payne was hired by the Shreveport Police Department on July 27, 2018, Chief Raymond said.
“It was evident to all [that] she had a true calling to serve,” he noted.
On Nov. 16, 2018, Officer Payne graduated from the police academy – a day Chief Raymond remembers well.
“I handed her diploma to her, [and] shook her hand, as she proudly walked across the stage and joined our ranks,” he recalled. “I saw firsthand the excitement in her eyes as she embarked upon her chosen career of serving others.”
Officer Payne chronicled her achievement in a Facebook post the same day.
“Long Days. Aching Nights. But I decided to stand tall on my dream,” she wrote. “Never lose sight of who you are and where you come from… build on who you are and to become an influential and better person…it is always something bigger than MYSELF.”
“My personal mission is to become that positive influence. To Protect those who can’t protect themselves & to at least try to push someone to being a better version of themselves!” Officer Payne explained.
“It is an honor to be able to join such a powerful family with my Brothers and Sisters in Blue,” the rookie officer wrote. “May the journey begin.”
Officer Payne was a Shreveport native who was a standout on the Captain Shreve High School track team, her former coach, Marita Hunt, told KSLA.
“She was a good athlete, but a great person,” Hunt said. “She was a leader on the track team and was like a daughter to me.”
“Her legacy would be her leadership qualities,” she told KSLA. “I wasn’t surprised that she became an officer.”
Officer Payne leaves behind a young child.
“Sadly, Shreveport wakes up painfully aware of the sacrifices police officers make every day,” Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins said in a statement, according to KSLA.
“Police officers are human beings just like the rest of us,” Perkins added. “Behind the badge is a beating heart—a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, and sister. When they put the uniform on, they put all that on the line.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Shreveport Police Officer Chateri Payne, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.