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SPD: Olde Town shooting suspect has history of mental illness, confronting police

28-year-old Jeremy Lackey, courtesy of the Slidell Police Department 28-year-old Jeremy Lackey, courtesy of the Slidell Police Department
Chief Randy Smith updates the media on a shooting in Olde Town Slidell April 3. Chief Randy Smith updates the media on a shooting in Olde Town Slidell April 3.
SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) -  An officer was shot in the line of duty after a man opened fire in Olde Town Friday night.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jeremy Lackey is behind bars after opening fire on a group of police officers April 3 near the corner of First and Cousin Streets.

Police responded to a disturbance call around 8:40 p.m. Friday night outside of the Olde Town Tavern in reference to 28-year-old Jeremy Lackey. According to police, witnesses say Lackey was drunk, belligerent and trying to pick fights. When officers arrived on scene, Lackey was being escorted out of the bar by his friends when, for unknown reasons, he pushed his friends away, went to his motorcycle and pulled out a gun. 

Lackey aimed the weapon at police and fired 10 shots, according to Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith. Police positioned themselves between Lackey and innocent bystanders and returned fire. 

During the shoot out, Sgt. Cliff Laigast was hit in the leg, but continued firing.

Police say a K-9 unit, Scout, apprehended Lackey before he could hit anyone else. Lackey now faces three counts of attempted first degree murder of a police officer and one count of illegal use of a dangerous weapon.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered that Lackey made disturbing posts on social media saying he wanted to make "bad decisions" that night. Detectives also learned that Lackey was involved in a stand off with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office where he barricaded himself inside his apartment with a gun and bullet-proof armor.

Lackey has a history of confrontations with police according to Smith.

“Mr. Lackey was an angry individual who desired conflict with law enforcement," Smith said. "There have been several documented incidents where Mr. Lackey has challenged and became confrontational with law enforcement across the nation; spanning from California to Louisiana. His intention last night was to kill several of my officers."

Smith praised officers, saying they acted heroically and nobly in the field.

“I want our citizens to know that this incident could have happened anywhere, but I am proud to say that my officers handled this incident with great heroism and restraint. Mr. Lackey won't be hurting anymore police officers, or innocent citizens, because we now have him behind bars,”

Laigast is now out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. He is an 8-year veteran of the department.

Lackey is being held in the Slidell City Jail.

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