Waldheim, LA – A St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputy was shot by a 13-year-old burglary suspect while out on patrol early Wednesday morning, according to police.
The incident occurred in the area of Highway 1083 and Highway 21 at approximately 3 a.m. on May 25, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO) said in a press release later that morning.
STPSO Deputy Kenneth Doby was patrolling the area after receiving a report of a burglary at a nearby business when he spotted someone out walking in the area.
Deputy Doby exited his patrol vehicle to speak with the individual, who was later determined to be a 13-year-old male, WVUE reported.
During the encounter, Deputy Doby and a second deputy ended up in a physical altercation with the teen, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith told WVUE.
They were wrestling with the suspect on the side of the road when the suspect allegedly shot Deputy Doby one time, hitting him “beneath the back of his bulletproof vest,” Sheriff Smith said.
Despite his wounds, Deputy Doby stayed in the fight and helped his partner take the burglary suspect into custody, the STPSO said in the press release.
The four-year department veteran was subsequently rushed to Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, WVUE reported.
Sheriff Smith said Deputy Doby is expected to survive the attack.
“Right now, it looks like he’s going to have a full recovery,” the sheriff told WVUE. “We’re very lucky. … We’re just thankful he’s going to be OK, because it could’ve been a lot worse.”
The unnamed teen suspect was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder, battery of a police officer, resisting a police officer with force or violence, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, and simple burglary.
He was being held at the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center.
Deputy Doby, a military veteran who previously worked for two other area sheriff’s offices, was named STPSO’s “Deputy of the Quarter” in 2020, according to WVUE.
“Sheriff Randy Smith is asking for continued prayers for Deputy Doby’s recovery as well as for his family and for the safety of all law enforcement,” the STPSO said in the press release.