BELL CITY, La. (AP) — A Louisiana state trooper — who has a young son and wife — was shot in the head and critically injured Sunday when he tried to stop a driver suspected of being drunk or drugged in southwest Louisiana, Louisiana State Police said.
Other drivers stopped to help Master Trooper Steven Vincent, a 13-year state police veteran in southwest Louisiana and member of a law enforcement family, said Col. Michael Edmonson, head of state police.
“Thank God for several civilians who pulled over,” he said in a telephone interview. “They jumped out, they subdued him, grabbed the trooper’s handcuffs and put them on the suspect. And they rendered first aid” to Vincent, age 43.
Edmonson said the arrested man, Kevin Daigle, 54, of Lake Charles, had a number of previous arrests, though he did not know details. He said he did not know all the charges that Daigle will face, but they will include attempted murder of a police officer.
Sgt. James Anderson, southwest Louisiana spokesman for state police, said Vincent was in critical but stable condition Sunday evening, and Daigle also was in a hospital.
“He struggled with the guys who came to assist — had some scrapes on him and so on,” Anderson said.
Anderson said police had received calls Sunday about a maroon Dodge pickup truck with a camper shell that was driving erratically. A bit later, it was reported in a ditch. The trooper got to the truck at 2:43 p.m., Anderson said.
“Sometime after that, he encountered the driver and a struggle ensued,” he said. “Our trooper was shot in the head.”
Edmonson said Vincent has a wife and a 9-year-old son. One of Vincent’s brothers is also a state trooper and another is a local police chief, Edmonson said.
As he ended the interview, he said, “Prayers. We need them.”