A highly decorated and beloved Louisiana sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in the line of duty over the weekend, leaving behind a wife, two children and a devastated community he was proud to serve, officials said.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Shawn Anderson, 43, and a colleague were investigating a rape when they began struggling with a suspect they were trying to question at Classic Cuts barbershop on Hatteras Avenue about 11 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said.
Anderson was shot during the fight and died after he was rushed to a nearby hospital, the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect was also shot and remains hospitalized, officials said.
“Our hearts are broken as we grieve for one of our brothers,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement. “We ask for your continued prayers and support during this difficult time as we mourn the loss and honor the memory of Sgt. Shawn Anderson.”
Anderson had worked for the department for 18 years, serving in various divisions including the parish prison, narcotics, K-9, emergency services, maritime response and SWAT, officials said.
Anderson was recognized in 2010 for helping save a woman who threatened to jump off of the Old Mississippi River Bridge, distracting her so another deputy could pull her to safety.
In 2014, he was noted for serving more than 60 high-risk warrants with no injuries or shots fired, police said.
In 2016, Anderson was hailed a hero for delivering a baby on the side of a road, authorities said.
Anderson sprang into action after he was flagged down by the expectant parents realized that they didn’t have enough time to make it to the hospital.
“Once I had the baby in my hands, [his mother] looked at me and said, '’Please don't let my baby die' ... My brain just went to mush after that," he told WAFB-TV at the time.
The baby turned 1 year old on Sunday.
Anderson was the fourth area law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty over the last eight months.
Deputy Brad Garafola and Baton Rouge Police officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson were killed July 17 in an ambush by former Marine Gavin Long. Long was killed during an ensuing shootout.
Louisiana State Police has taken over the investigation into Saturday’s shooting.