La. detective shot serving warrant in 2016 dies of injuries
Det. Stephen Arnold was a 12-year veteran of the department
Duty Death: Stephen Arnold - [Jefferson Parish, Louisiana]
End of Service: 05/23/2021
By Chad Calder And Jessica Williams
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
NEW ORLEANS — Stephen Arnold, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputy shot five times executing an arrest warrant in a New Orleans home in 2016, died of his injuries Sunday.
Arnold, a detective and 12-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, had been comatose since Jan. 26, 2016, when he was shot after he and other members of a federal Drug Enforcement Administration task force entered a residence in the 5300 block of Douglas Street in New Orleans, Sheriff Joe Lopinto said.
Arnold, who was 35 years old when he died, "was just a great overall guy," Lopinto said. "He was not only a leader, but a leader on the narcotics (division), being assigned to the DEA task force and always answering the call for duty and in this community."
Arnold and other law enforcement officers knocked on the door of Jarvis Hardy's home in Holy Cross before dawn and got no response. They forced their way inside and Hardy, who was was in possession of crack cocaine, began firing at them, striking Arnold five times.
JPSO mourns the death of Detective Stephen Arnold—see the details below pic.twitter.com/XlDAtPovJu— JP Sheriff's Office (@JeffParishSO) May 23, 2021
Hardy maintained he thought he was responding to a robbery and never meant to shoot Arnold. He eventually pleaded guilty to the shooting in federal court, along with several other drug- and gun-related charges, and is serving a 35-year sentence.
Lopinto said Sunday that the sentence handed down to Hardy accounted for Arnold's eventual death from his injuries. Arnold's brain did not receive oxygen for the first 30 minutes after he was shot, and he could not speak or walk. He relied on a tracheotomy tube to breathe, and he needed a feeding tube to eat. He had been living in a nursing home, and his poor condition prevented him from attending Hardy's sentencing along with family members and a raft of law enforcement officers in federal court in February 2019.
Arnold's family members noted that day that he grew up not far from the Holy Cross neighborhood where it was shot, and that he decided to become a law enforcement officer after a close friend overdosed. He would have turned 40 years old this year.
The Sheriff's Office said Sunday that Arnold had received several commendations for his service, including two Distinguished Service Awards and an Award For Valor. He was awarded a Purple Heart at the time of his injury and will be posthumously awarded the JPSO Medal of Honor.
Funeral arrangements are currently being made and will be announced early in the week, the Sheriff's Office said.
Lopinto said Arnold's death was a tragic loss for his family.
"The men and the women of the sheriff's office and the DEA will do whatever we can to support their needs over the next few days," he said.
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