1 officer killed, 1 shot in head during Mandeville traffic stop; suspect identified

Slain Mandeville Police officer identified as Captain Vincent Liberto Jr.

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -One Mandeville police officer was shot to death and another one was injured near Hwy. 190 and Hwy. 22 on Friday afternoon (Sept. 20).

The second officer was shot in the head. He was taken to a nearby hospital. A source close to the investigation said the injury was a graze wound.

Two people are in custody, including the suspected shooter. One person was arrested on the scene. Another person was caught in the Beau Chene area.

The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Mark Spicer of Covington, has been charged with one count each of First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Possession of Stolen Property.

21-year-old Mark Spicer of Covington, has been charged with one count each of First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Possession of Stolen Property.
21-year-old Mark Spicer of Covington, has been charged with one count each of First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Possession of Stolen Property. (Source: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office)

The second suspect was not identified.

The shooting happened shortly before 2 p.m.

Witnesses said that there was a police chase after a routine traffic stop on Monroe St.

As the driver refused to stop, a pursuit ensued along Hwy. 190. During the course of the pursuit, the suspect’s vehicle crashed into the ditch along the U.S. 190 southbound off ramp to Hwy. 22.

“We have a wife that’s grieving. We have children that are grieving. We have an agency who has not lost a police officer of over 50 years,” Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker said. “My thoughts and prayers, and I’m sure all of our community, their thoughts and prayers are with this officer’s family. I’m asking that you all pray for us.”

Hwy. 190 was shut down in both directions after the shooting, but reopened shortly before 5 p.m.

As of 3:30 p.m., the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said that all suspects are in custody and there is no danger to the public. Police said the weapon used in the shooting was recovered.

“The only thing we can do right now is ask for the prayers of the community for the officer that is injured and for the person that is decease,” Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere said.

Louisiana State Police and the Slidell Police Department are also assisting in the investigation.

Law Enforcement press conference related to Mandeville officer shooting

“Today we mourn the loss of a dedicated public servant who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting the people of Mandeville and the people of Louisiana. Our hearts go out to the officer’s family and friends, the people of Mandeville and the entire law enforcement community,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister asked the community to come together in prayer and support for the officers and the Mandeville Police Department.

“We are shocked at the sad and tragic news today of the shooting of two Mandeville Police officers in the line of duty," she said.

The FBI echoed the sentiments sent by other first responders from around the country, saying they stand with “our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to moun the loss of a Mandeville Police Officer. Our thorughts and prayers are with the family and the entire Mandeville Police Department.”

As of 3:30 p.m., the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said that all suspects are in custody and there is no danger to the public.

Louisiana State Police and the Slidell Police Department are also assisting in the investigation. They are asking anyone with infomation about the shooting to contact police as the investigation is ongoing, despite the arrests.

The last time a Mandeville Police officer was killed in the line of duty was 1958.

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