MANDEVILLE (WVUE) - For a year and a half now people honoring slain Mandeville police officer Vincent Liberto have been placing makeshift memorials near the spot where he was fatally shot in the line of duty.
That memorial was just taken down, as his widow looked on.
On September 20, 2019 Mandeville police officer Vincent Liberto was fatally shot in the line of duty, near the intersection of Highways 190 and 22.
“Every time we come out here it’s hard to be quite honest with you. I still get very angry still very hurt,” said Mandeville police chief Gerald Sticker, Liberto’s former boss, and an old friend.
Citizens and people who knew Officer Liberto, immediately began making contributions to a makeshift memorial at the site of his death.
But now, with his widow looking on that memorial is coming down.
Mandeville police chief Gerald Sticker served with Liberto in the Marine’s and on the Mandeville police force. He joined state transportation workers, slowly taking down flags and tributes placed in Liberto’s honor on the highways chain-link dividing fence.
“The flags were tattered and in disrepair and I know Vincent being a Marine and a police officer would support our nations flag being represented a lot better,” said Sticker.
It has been a rough year for Liberto’s wife, Tracey. She’s had a hold her family together after police say Liberto was fatally shot by 22-year-old mark Spicer during a chase. But the hardship was eased somewhat by the community outpouring.
“I just want to thank the community for all their support in the last year and a half and I’m really excited,” said Liberto’s widow, Tracey.
Though the makeshift memorial has come down, the state plans to permanently memorialize a man who was a hero to his family and community.
“Today is about doing things properly and properly honoring Captain Liberto’s life and properly displaying the American flag,” said Michael Vinsanau, a spokesman for the La. Dept of Transportation and Development.
Tracey Liberto says she will take home the remembrances.
The state will soon begin working on a new permanent tribute to Vincent Liberto which will include an American flag and a renamed interchange in honor of a man who many will never forget.
“The tragedy, as horrible as it was does not define us,” said Sticker.
“The family is really excited to have a more permanent memorial,” said Tracey Liberto.
A memorial to a man who exemplified what duty is all about, and in so doing paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Mark Spicer is currently awaiting trial for Liberto’s murder. He could face the death penalty, if convicted.
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