Injured Slidell officer holds fundraiser for fallen U.S. Marshal

Injured Slidell officer holds fundraiser for fallen U.S. Marshal

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "That night I obviously had no idea that anything would happen," said Reserve Sgt. Cliff Laigast.

Laigast said his training kicked in three weeks ago when he responded to a disturbance call at the Olde Town Tavern on Cousin Street. A man, drunk and belligerent, grabbed a gun and started shooting.

"That's one thing they taught us in law enforcement," Laigast said. "You train, train, train, and then a situation comes. It definitely kicks in."

He, along with other officers, are credited for protecting dozens of innocent bystanders that night. Laigast, though, was shot.

"It was the upper right thigh," he said. "It was in between my bone and my right artery, and even though I was shot, I was lucky the bullet hit where it did."

Laigast said he was in a lot of pain. Through his recovery, he began to focus on a project he'd been working on before he was shot - a fundraiser to benefit the family of U.S. Marshal Josie Wells.

"He truly died doing something that the loved, and to do the golf tournament is an opportunity for us to band together with our brothers in blue, in law enforcement within our state, and local partners to come together and just celebrate a hero," said Supervisory Deputy of U.S. Marshals James McIntosh.

A double murder suspect shot and killed Wells, as he tried to serve a warrant at a Baton Rouge motel. Wells left behind a pregnant wife.

"It's an opportunity for us to show our appreciation to Josie and his family," McIntosh said. "We consider ourselves a tight unit. Josie paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing something that he was very passionate about."

"It's kind of really motivated me to actually do this even more," Laigast said. "We're kind of going through a similar situation in an active shooting situation."

Laigast never met Wells, but he said he feels a connection knowing the same thing could have happened to him.

"I think it's going to be a huge success," Laigast said.

The golf tournament will be held Saturday, May 30 at the Royal Golf Club. Proceeds will help Well's family provide for Josie Wells Jr., due on his father's birthday. The format will be a four-person scramble and will cost $100 per golfer. That includes greens fee, cart fee, range balls, food and beverages all day.

Checks should be made payable to the Josie Wells Memorial and mailed to the Royal Golf Club.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.