Louisiana state trooper dies after being shot by stranded motorist

Posted at 7:48 AM, Aug 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-24 12:54:02-04

(CNN) — Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent, who was shot by a driver he had stopped to help in Lake Charles, has died of his injuries, Col. Michael Edmonson, the police force’s superintendent, said in a statement Monday.

“As an organization, we are heartbroken over this senseless and tragic death,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his surviving wife, Katherine, and his son Ethan as well as his entire extended family,” including two brothers who are also in law enforcement: Terrell Vincent, who’s also a trooper, and Keith Vincent, who’s chief of police in Iowa, Louisiana.

Trooper Steven J. Vincent

According to police, the suspect allegedly told Vincent, “You’re going to die soon,” before opening fire Sunday. Edmonson said the gunshot “messed up (Vincent’s) neurological output,” leaving the trooper in critical condition Sunday.

The 43-year-old veteran trooper had stopped to help Kevin Daigle, 54, whose pickup was stuck in a ditch, according to Edmonson.

Vincent realized the suspect’s vehicle matched the description of a truck whose driver had reportedly been driving recklessly. He started talking to Daigle, who appeared to be impaired and was alone in the truck, Edmonson said.

Daigle opened the truck’s door and came out with the shotgun, authorities said.

“You could hear him breathing, telling him, ‘You’re lucky. You’re lucky. You’re going to die soon.’ That’s the words that came out of his mouth,” said Edmonson, who said he listened to a recording of the interaction.

The suspect tried to flee the scene, but other motorists wrestled a shotgun from him and detained him with the trooper’s handcuffs, Edmonson said.

Vincent spent 13 years with the Louisiana State Police. The suspect initially faced various charges, including attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, but Edmonson’s statement did not indicate whether police would level more or different charges after Vincent’s death.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff until Friday.

“Steven was an honorable husband, father and State Trooper who courageously served our state for over a decade,” the governor said in a statement. “Brave men and women like Steven put their lives in danger every day to protect our families, and we are extremely grateful to them for keeping us safe.”