NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It should be a tough day for everybody who lives in this city," says Donovan Livaccari.
Fraternal Order of Police attorney Donovan Livaccari says the loss of Officer Marcus McNeil is a tragedy.
The 29-year-old father of two young children is described as a wonderful person and an exceptional police officer.
"Officer McNeil was a nice guy. He's a hard worker. He was the kind of officer that anybody would want when they needed back up," says Livaccari.
In high school, McNeil was a member of the St. Augustine Marching 100 and played the tuba.
"He's just somebody who was dedicated, passionate. He marched all four years. He just always did the right thing. He was a very good guy," says Chris Quest.
Quest graduated with McNeil from St. Aug in 2006 and was the drum major their senior year. Quest is now a teacher at St. Aug and teaches McNeil's little brother.
"He was somebody who always did the right thing, so when I found out he was NOPD, I wasn't surprised because he always did the right thing," says Quest.
McNeil was a three-year veteran of the NOPD and graduated from the academy in April of 2015. In field training, he gained the nickname "Mild Dud" by a subject he was arresting. He said the guy was trying to get a rise out of him. McNeil laughed it off, and the nickname stuck.
On the job, though, he was serious and was part of a proactive unit in the Seventh District looking for suspicious activity.
"That's exactly what they found. Unfortunately I think the circumstances this morning led the perp to fire on the officer without thinking twice is what it sounds like to me," says Livaccari.
McNeil was stuck several times and later lost his life.
"At the end of the day, the goal is to make it home, and unfortunately Officer McNeil isn't going to make it home and it's a shame," says Livaccari.