05/23/2004

Baton Rouge Officer Slain WIth Own Weapon Apprehending Shoplifter/Carjacker

Officer Down: Lt. Vicki Wax - [Baton Rouge, Louisiana]

Slain officer identified; Another victim in critical condition

The Baton Rouge Advocate

A veteran Baton Rouge police officer is dead and a man is in critical condition after a shooting late Saturday at the Perkins Road Wal-Mart, Police Cpl. Mary Ann Godawa said on Sunday.

Lt. Vicki Wax, 51, was shot and killed with her own gun while attempting to apprehend a shoplifter. The man also shot a 51-year-old customer and a store security guard who tried to help the police officer, a police news release says.

The customer, whose name has not been released, was in critical condition Sunday morning. The security guard's injuries are not life-threatening, Godawa said.

Wax and the security guard were questioning the shoplifter and had managed to handcuff one of his hands when a struggle started, the release says. The man grabbed Wax's gun during the struggle and shot her, the security guard and the customer before running from the store.

Police describe the shooter as a black man with a medium build and a fade haircut, wearing a dark-colored shirt and tan shorts.

Security cameras show the shooter arriving at the store, 3535 Perkins Road, as a passenger in a light-colored, newer-model SUV with two other people, the release says.

Those two people drove from the store, leaving the shooter behind.

The shooter ran into the store parking lot and carjacked a 1996 white Chevrolet Corsica, Godawa said.

Police recovered the Corsica hours later near the the corner of Tecumseh and Seneca streets, Godawa said.

The shooting happened about 10:10 p.m. Saturday. Police remained at the store investigating into the night and early Sunday. They were still there until at least 2 a.m.

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