Story from above...
Ouachita deputy shot twice; suspected gunman slain
BY ZACK SOUTHWELL
MARCH 5, 2010
An eight-year veteran with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office was gravely wounded Thursday evening after being shot twice in the head.
The suspected gunman, Michael Tanner, 26, was shot dead by a second deputy.
Cpl. J.R. Searcy, 33, was finishing his day shift Thursday around 6 p.m. when he and another deputy responded to a call about a reported aggravated assault on Browning Road near Louisiana 34 in southwestern Ouachita Parish, Ouachita Parish Sheriff Royce Toney said.
"He was called out there because Tanner had reportedly assaulted someone with a vehicle," Toney said.
Searcy had a Taser, a device used to stun potentially violent suspects, in his hands and told Tanner to put his hands behind his head.
As he raised his hands, the suspect pulled out a large-caliber handgun and shot the deputy twice in the head, Toney said.
One bullet went through the brain, and the other was lodged at the base of his skull. Toney said Searcy was in very critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center late Thursday, a condition that held as the night wore on.
"Law enforcement is a dangerous job," Toney said with a breaking voice as he met with reporters in Anna Gray Noe Park, across the street from the hospital. "Searcy is a great deputy."
Toney said Tanner had a lengthy criminal record with the sheriff's office; he said the department had dealings with him 33 times.
Law enforcement officers and family members pressed into waiting rooms at the hospital as the night wore on. Representatives of several law enforcement agencies were at St. Francis Medical Center late Thursday night.
People responded to news of the shooting at thenewsstar.com | The News Star | Monroe news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Monroe, LA with expressions of concern and prayerful reflections.
"Our prayers are (with) you and your family," wrote a woman who described herself as the wife of a Sheriff's Office officer. "This is always our worst fear. ... and these men and women do it for the love of others ... ."
"My prayers go out to J.R. and his family. Cpl. Searcy was one of the best deputies I knew. I listened to it on the radio when 'officer down' came over the air," wrote TRIP23 on the Web site.
"Myself and friends of mine have done construction work at J.R.'s home. He is a very good man and our prayers go out to his wife and family," another poster wrote.
At 10:23 p.m., a poster added: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord life up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."