La. officer fatally shoots man attacking him with baton
The officer was attempting make an arrest when the suspect took his baton and attacked him
BEAUMONT, La. — Police say a “brutal attack” prompted a Beaumont officer to fatally shoot a Louisiana man Tuesday - the second officer-involved shooting in Southeast Texas within mere hours.
Crederick Joseph, 37, was killed following an attempted robbery and assault at the Merit Inn & Suites on Interstate 10, according to the Beaumont Police Department. Chief James Singletary said the dead man was from Opelousas but had been working locally.
An officer was dispatched to the Merit Inn just after midnight Tuesday in response to a call about a trespasser. While en route, police said, the clerk reported Joseph was trying to rob her.
Singletary said the officer was attempting to make an arrest when Joseph took the officer’s baton and assaulted him. The chief said the department stands behind the officer and believes he acted in self-defense.
Joseph was pronounced dead at the scene scene; the officer was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for multiple head lacerations.
“He is shaken up, but there is a lot of evidence to show that this was a brutal attack,” Singletary said of the injured officer, who has been with the department about two years.
The officer, whose name was not released, is now on paid administrative leave, per department protocol, Singletary said.
The chief said the incident is under investigation, and the officer was wearing a body camera.
The shooting is the city’s 16th homicide of the year. The department classifies a homicide as a death at the hands of another person.
Merit Inn employees did not comment on the incident Tuesday afternoon, and attempts to reach Joseph’s family were unsuccessful.
Nine hours prior to Joseph’s death, a Hardin County deputy fatally shot a 31-year-old Kountze man.
Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis said the deputy was talking to the victim of an assault and stolen car when the suspect returned to the residence and allegedly approached the deputy with a knife and a “tree limb.”
Joshua Chase Conner, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene of the Villa Road residence.
The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting.
The deputy, who is a veteran with the sheriff’s office, also is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.