Abbeville, LA – The convicted felon accused of repeatedly shooting a female Abbeville police officer during a traffic stop on Wednesday night has been arrested.
Nashon Ishmael Brooks, 29, was apprehended at approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday in Lafayette Parish, The Acadiana Advocate reported.
He has been charged with carrying a firearm by a convicted felon, attempted first-degree murder, and possession of a firearm in a gun-free zone, the Louisiana State Police (LSP) said.
Brooks was arrested for the same offenses back in 2017, after he shot and critically wounded a man in February of 2016.
After the shooting, he fled to North Carolina, and was subsequently extradited back to Louisiana.
He pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated battery in 2018, and was sentenced to six years in prison with all but one year suspended.
Brooks was given credit against his one-year sentence for time already served, and was placed on probation for two years.
He was also convicted attempted breaking and entering of a motor vehicle in 2012, but his 45-day jail sentence was canceled out by the time he served prior to the sentence being imposed.
The incident occurred in the 600-block of North Gertrude Street just before 8 p.m. on April 3, Abbeville City Councilman Francis Touchet Jr. told The Acadiana Advocate.
Brooks’ family said that he had a fight with his girlfriend on Wednesday evening, and that he left in her vehicle and went to a friend’s house, the Daily Advertiser reported.
His girlfriend showed up at the home to get her vehicle back, at which point Brooks crashed it into his sister’s vehicle, his family said.
After receiving a report of the disturbance, the unnamed female officer stopped the car on nearby Alley Street.
The gunman, described as a black male wearing black clothing, exited the suspect vehicle and took off on foot, Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza told KLFY.
The officer pursued the suspect and he shot the officer twice as she chased him to North Gertrude Street, before he fled the area.
The officer was airlifted from the scene to a hospital in Lafayette with two gunshot wounds to her shoulder and a collapsed lung, KLFY reported.
She was listed in stable condition on Wednesday night.
Abbeville Senior Patrol Officer Stephen Reynolds described the wounded officer as “the sweetest young lady you would ever meet,” the Daily Advertiser reported.
“She’s a tough girl, only you’d never expect it,” Officer Reynolds said. “To be honest, I’m very surprised this would happen to someone like her. She’s not deserving of that at all.”
The Police Association of Lafayette has set up a GoFundMe account to assist the wounded officer which reports that she'll only be receiving a portion of her already-under $10 per hour pay while she's recovering.
The Louisiana State Police’s Air Support Unit, the U.S. Marshals Office, and the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted Abbeville police in the massive manhunt for the armed attacker on Wednesday night, KLFY reported.
K9s were brought in to search the area, and officers had their weapons drawn on a North Gertrude home at one point, witnesses told KATC.
Residents were told to stay off of roadways and to remain inside their locked homes while the search continued into the night, KLFY reported.
Brooks’ family begged for him to surrender during the manhunt.
“I’m praying that he turns himself in,” his mother, Alberta Leblanc, told the Daily Advertiser. "That’s all I can do is pray."
Brooks’ family lives in the same neighborhood where the shooting occurred, and said they are familiar with the wounded officer.
Brooks’ sister, Urshala Brooks, said that her 3-year-old son loves police cars, and that the officer always stops to chat with him on her patrols.
“The cop that was there was a sweet woman,” Urshala said. “When she’d ride by, she’d stop here, say something to my baby or turn her lights on.”
“We hate this happened to her. We want to reach out to her and tell her we’re sorry,” she continued. “This is just a shock to us. This is hard.”