Police and Law Enforcement

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Louisiana sheriff's deputy

This undated image shows David Michel, Jr., who was shot and killed June 22, 2016 during a pedestrian stop in Harvey, La.

This undated image shows David Michel, Jr., who was shot and killed June 22, 2016 during a pedestrian stop in Harvey, La.  (Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office)

A suspect in the murder of a Louisiana sheriff's deputy was in custody after he tried to hide in a backyard Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. 

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's deputy David Michel, Jr., 50, was shot multiple times at around 12:20 p.m. local time after stopping a pedestrian on the street in Harvey, just outside New Orleans. 

Michel died after being taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said at a televised news conference.

The suspect was captured after law enforcement agencies flooded the area, using dogs and helicopters.

Geralisha Henderson said she went to her back door Wednesday to make sure it was locked after police combing her street said they were searching for a suspect.

When she went to the back door, she saw what appeared to be a young man dressed in jeans and T-shirt hiding in the back of the yard. Frightened, she went to the street and waved for a police officer to come. When she went to the back door to peek outside again, she said the suspect was much closer to the house. The suspect saw her and asked to be let in, she said.

"He was telling me `Open the door, let me in,"' she said. "He looked scared."

She said she did not see a gun. At that the point, several officers rushed in and detained him in the backyard. Henderson's mother, Alicia, said an officer later came back to the house and told her the man was the suspect they were looking for.

The unidentified suspect was also taken to University Medical Center with minor injuries. Fortunato said authorities believe the suspect sustained the injuries in a struggle with Michel prior to the shooting.

Witnesses told investigators the suspect pulled a gun from his waistband during that struggle, Fortunato said.

It was not immediately clear why the suspect was initially stopped. Michel was assigned to the street crimes unit, which targets drug sales and criminal activity in 17 high-crime areas around the parish, Deputy Chief Craig Taffaro said. Michel was in a black unmarked car and dressed in plain clothes with sheriff markings.

"The normal operational tour of duty for these guys who work in street crimes is to drive around certain neighborhoods that we know are high-crime areas and make pedestrian stops, and make vehicle stops as well," Fortunato said.

WVUE reported that Michel was assigned to the street crimes team last year. He joined the sheriff's office in 2007 and attained full-time status in 2013. The station also reported that Michel's wife is a sheriff's office employee, but did not specify in what capacity. 

The shooting happened on Manhattan Boulevard near its intersection with Lapalco Boulevard, both heavily traveled thoroughfares in the area known as the West Bank, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

It was the year's second shooting of a Jefferson officer.

Another member of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office was shot and wounded in January during a drug raid on a house in the Lower 9th Ward section of New Orleans.

Stephen Arnold was shot five times as he and others were trying to serve a warrant as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration raid on a house. The alleged shooter, Jarvis Hardy, has been indicted on eight counts, including attempted murder of a federal officer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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