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La. deputy killed after suspect rammed cruiser while fleeing from traffic stop

Suspect had stopped a second time during the pursuit and then accelerated into the Lafourche Parish deputy’s cruiser


Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

Duty Death: Nicholas Pepper - [Lafourche Parish]

End of Service: 02/04/2023

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy was killed when a suspect broke off negotiations and drove his vehicle straight into the deputy’s car, according to the Louisiana State Police.

The identity of the Lafourche Parish deputy had not been released as of early afternoon Sunday, April 2.

Investigators say the suspect survived the crash and remains in custody.

It happened around 5 a.m. April 2 on Louisiana Highway 1 near Klienpeter Road in Thibodaux, state police said in a news release. Thibodaux is about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans.

“The initial investigation revealed an officer with the Houma Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation,” state police said.

“The suspect fled at a high rate of speed. Police pursued the suspect and, at some point during the pursuit, the suspect stopped. Officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect who sped off and rammed into a Lafourche Parish deputy’s unit stopped nearby.”

The deputy was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, officials said.

“The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries,” officials said.

Investigators have not released the name of the suspect or charges. He will be “formally charged and booked after release from hospital,” state police officials said.

Houma police began chasing the suspect “just before 4 a.m.” and alerted the Lafourche sheriff’s office when he crossed the parish line, officials said.

The suspect had stopped near Lafourche Crossing in Thibodaux and was talking with deputies when he suddenly “accelerated and struck the deputy’s vehicle which was positioned nearby,” officials said.

“We are all processing and grieving this horrific and tragic death,” Sheriff Craig Webre said in a release.

“We are with the family providing them with support and prayers at this unbelievably difficult time. We ask for the community’s love, prayers and support as well.”

The Louisiana State Police is handling the investigation.

©2023 The Charlotte Observer.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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