Slidell officer shot in line of duty receives touching letter from Missouri girl

Slidell officer shot in line of duty receives touching letter from Missouri girl
Kaeleigh Ash wrote a letter to Sgt. Cliff Laigast after hearing that he was shot in the leg (Source: Slidell PD)
Kaeleigh Ash wrote a letter to Sgt. Cliff Laigast after hearing that he was shot in the leg (Source: Slidell PD)
Sgt. Cliff Laigast (Source: Slidell PD)
Sgt. Cliff Laigast (Source: Slidell PD)

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - A Slidell police officer shot in the line of duty received a touching letter from a little girl who lives more than 650 miles away.

Kaeleigh Ash, a young girl from Anderson, Missouri, wrote a letter to Sgt. Cliff Laigast after hearing that he was shot in the leg during a shootout in the Olde Town area.

The letter reads:

"To the Officer who got shot: I say a prayer every night for you to get better. Hope you feel better soon."

Jeremy Lackey, 28, is behind bars following the shooting in Olde Town Slidell. The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. on April 3. Lackey faces three counts of attempted first degree murder of a police officer.

Officers say they showed up to the Olde Town Tavern on Cousin Street for a disturbance call. They found Lackey drunk and belligerent. Once escorted outside, police say Lackey went to his motorcycle and grabbed a gun.

Gunfire was exchanged, and Sgt. Cliff Laigast was shot in the leg. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Police captured Lackey with a K-9 unit after a brief chase.

Lackey's attorney, Jeffrey Smith, said his client is a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq. He said during one of those tours he suffered a head injury. Smith said Lackey has also been admitted into a psych ward and has reportedly attempted suicide. He said Lackey has been taking medication for his illness and doesn't remember anything that happened Friday evening. He also said Lackey was concerned about the officer who was injured in the shooting.

Chief Smith, though, said his veteran status and health issues don't justify shooting at his officers and the public.

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