St. John Parish remembers officers slain during ambush - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

St. John Parish remembers officers slain during ambush

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Balloons were released after a memorial ceremony in LaPlace. Balloons were released after a memorial ceremony in LaPlace.

LaPlace, La.—It was a tough day for many people in St. John Parish.

One year ago, four parish deputies were ambushed and shot during the early morning hours of August 16. Two of the deputies died.

Friday morning, dozens gathered at the New Wine Christian Church on Airline Highway in LaPlace to remember the officers.

"That morning Jeremy protected us and this whole community," said Edie Triche as she choked back tears. She is the mother of Officer Jeremy Triche, who was fatally wounded.

The parents of Officer Brandon Nielsen are also still trying to stitch back their broken hearts after his death.

"Brandon we all love and miss you very much, you are true hero," said his mother, Wendy Nielsen.

The shootings, which began near a parking lot on Airline Highway and then continued as deputies pursued suspects to a trailer park, stunned a community unaccustomed to such violence.

"Things were going through my mind, saying no, Jeremy was okay, he knew what to do, he was trained very well, but his dad called and said we lost our son," continued Edie Triche.

"August 16th 2012, in many ways, was our September 11th... Two young men, Brandon and Jeremy, gave their lives protecting this community," Sheriff Mike Tregre said during the ceremony.

Two other deputies, Michael Scott Boyington and Jason Triche survived, the bullets which penetrated their bodies.

When the ceremony ended, dozens poured into the church's parking lot and released balloons in memory of the slain officers.

"It's just truly amazing to see that all of these people have come out here to honor Jeremy and Brandon," said Mrs. Triche.

"I'm not surprised, they've been there for us throughout this entire ordeal, they're here for us again today, wonderful ceremony, all part of the healing," said the sheriff of the strong community support.

And as some of the suspects in the shootings still must face trial, members of the victims' families said they will remain strong to see the process through.

"We hope for continued prayers and support from the community as we proceed forward," said Mike Triche, father of Officer Jeremy Triche.

"I feel very confident in the case that's been presented to the district attorney, like I said in the service, I'm interested in only one thing, and that's justice," stated the sheriff.

Six people face charges in the case. Three are expected to go on trial, and three have pleaded guilty to accessory-after–the-fact charges.

Authorities have said in the past that some of the suspects have ties to an extremist group called Sovereign Citizens.

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