NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Hours after a Jefferson Parish deputy was shot serving a warrant Tuesday, DEA Special Agent-in-charge Keith Brown broke down describing the work of the men and women who serve in law enforcement.
"I mean, we're out there risking our lives," he said.
He said 35-year-old deputy Stephen Arnold is one of the best.
"He's a great guy. He's brave," Brown said.
Arnold started as a Jefferson Parish deputy and joined the Westbank Major Crimes Task Force about six years ago.
"He became a fixture around the office, and everyone knew him," said Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson. "They knew his great personality. He was personal friends with a lot of the officers from other agencies, including the Gretna Police Department."
About a year ago, he was recruited to join the DEA's federal task force.
"It's sort of the best of both worlds. We bring in these really wonderful, talented police officers, and clearly he was one of those that can join up with our agents and go out and make a difference," Brown said.
For the past seven months, Brown said Arnold worked on the agency's latest operation targeting high-level dealers.
"The idea is to combat violent crime, particularly in New Orleans East. While this warrant was not in New Orleans East, it sprang from some investigations we were doing," Brown said.
They've already made progress, arresting 73 people and seizing more than 30 guns in the past seven months.
He said on Tuesday morning, Arnold volunteered to be the first one in the house on Douglas Street to serve a warrant for 26-year-old Jarvis Hardy.
"Steve's the kind of guy that always wanted to go first, and the more important, we sometimes have guys that say they want to go first. We not only wanted Steve to go first, he was our best choice to go first," Brown said.
After being shot 5 times, Arnold is fighting for his life.
"We're praying for him, but we hope that if something good can come from something bad, it's just that. We want people to go, you know, it's time to stand up. It's time to say, enough is enough," Brown said.