SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - A Slidell police officer is recovering at home Saturday night after being shot in the leg during a shoot out with a suspect. It happened Friday in Olde Town Slidell just before 9 p.m. Now, 28-year-old Jeremy Lackey sits behind bars, facing three counts of attempted first degree murder of a police officer.
"Basically what was said, he was having a bad day and wanted to make somebody else's day even worse," said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith.
Investigators are looking at social media posts to get a sense of why Lackey opened fire on three Slidell police officers Friday night.
"Mr. Lackey was an angry individual who apparently desired a conflict with law enforcement," Smith commented.
Smith says officers showed up to the Olde Town Tavern on Cousin Street for a disturbance call. They found Lackey drunk and belligerent. Once escorted outside, Smith says Lackey went to his motorcycle and grabbed a gun. At the same time, a security guard from the Tavern was walking out of the Slidell Soda Shop. "He probably got three, four feet outside the soda shop and bolted back in, screaming everybody get on the floor. I had customers that actually got under the tables," said shop co-owner, Frank Jackson.
Jackson watched as officers put themselves between Lackey and nearby bystanders on the street. He explains, "They split up, one went behind the Tahoe, one went across the street and the perpetrator started shooting and hit the Tahoe four times."
Lackey also hit Sgt. Cliff Laigast in the leg. Officers fired back but didn't strike Lackey. A K-9 dog was able to bite him and bring him to the ground.
Smith says, "We're very fortunate that this didn't lead to someone getting killed."
That's especially true because on a Friday night, the Tavern, soda shop and nearby restaurant, were buzzing with activity. Smith says his officers followed protocol, which helped them save innocent lives.
Friday night's shooting wasn't Lackey's first run in with authorities. According to Chief Smith, he was in a stand-off with St. Tammany Parish deputies back in December. Before that, in March of 2014, he was involved in a suicide attempt with a weapon.