La. deputy's gun belt deflects bullet in shootout

The suspect was shot and taken into custody

NOLA Media Group, New Orleans

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — A Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputy was shot in River Ridge on Thursday night, but his gun belt deflected the bullet.

The incident happened in the 8700 block of Melrose Lane after they were dispatched there to assist someone who was having "mental health issues," said JPSO captain Jason Rivarde.

Deputies were on scene for more than an hour, Rivarde said, before one of the people at the scene pulled out a firearm about 7 p.m. and shot a the deputy. SWAT units were dispatched to the scene, and gunfire was exchanged multiple times. The suspect was shot at least once, and was also bitten by a K-9 unit, Rivarde said.

"We never want these things to happen anywhere, much less a populated area," Rivarde said. "Best-case scenario was no one was killed."

Rivarde emphasized how close the officer came to serious injury.

"Two inches is the size of that gun belt. Two inches one way, two inches the other way, that deputy is in serious trouble with an abdominal injury or a groin injury," Rivarde said. "It's a matter of inches with these things, and we're just fortunate this time that equipment was able to save his life."

No information about the suspect or the deputy involved in the shooting was immediately available.

It's unclear what circumstances led to the shooting.

©2019 NOLA Media Group, New Orleans

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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