Westwego, Louisiana - Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere was shot in the back of the head and killed early Friday, January 20, 2017.
According to The Times-Picayune, Officer Michael Louviere had ended his shift at 6:00 AM and was traveling on Armes Blvd on his way home in his unmarked patrol car. He saw what appeared to be a traffic accident near the intersection with Barataria Boulevard and stopped to help. Officer Louviere was in full uniform when he stopped to help the woman who was involved in the accident, later identified as Simone Veal.
What appeared to be an accident was actually a domestic dispute involving suspect Sylvester Holt, age 32, and his girlfriend, Simone Veal, age 32. Both were in separate vehicles, and Holt had shot at Veal's vehicle, then chased Veal until she crashed her vehicle into a vehicle waiting at a traffic light, in front of Visitation of Our Lady School.
It is not not known if Veal was hit when Holt first shot at her, but when he drove up to the crash, he shot Officer Michael Louviere in the back of the head and then shot Veal, who was laying on the ground. She was eight weeks pregnant. Holt then fled and a massive manhunt ensued involving multiple law enforcement agencies. He was eventually located on the Crescent City Connection bridge over the Mississippi River, where he appeared suicidal and threatened to jump.
News outlets reported that Holt surrendered after an hours-long negotiation, but he actually shot himself and officers had to move in to try to rescue him; he died the next day.
Holt has a lengthy criminal history including a previous charge for First degree Rape. That charge was dropped on January 7 due to "lack of witness participation." He had multiple previous protective orders taken out against him by several women and also a previous conviction for Battery of an Officer.
Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere, age 26, graduated first in his class from the Kenner Police Academy, where he won multiple awards. He was the father of two young children and has a brother, Barry Blanchard, who is a New Orleans Police Officer. He also has a cousin who is a Deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department. Officer Louviere was a U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan before joining the police force in July 2015.
After he was shot, Officer Michael Louviere was rushed to West Jefferson Medical Center where he died. Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch said that "this was a cold-blooded murder." He also said that delivering the news to Officer Louviere's wife at the hospital this morning was "one of the hardest things" he ever had to do.
Westwego Mayor John Shaddinger said that Officer Louviere was well-liked, and had just turned 26 years old on January 18. His brother Barry Blanchard said that "he was an excellent person and cared about people, and that he was "a family man and a man of God."
This hero left behind a wife and two children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere's family, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take it from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Michael Louviere, your life mattered.
If you want to make a donation to help Officer Louviere's family, there is a campaign hosted at OfficerDown.US.