A Louisiana state trooper suffered “severe neurological damage” when he was shot in the head with a sawed-off shotgun during a traffic stop Sunday, police said. The trooper was in critical condition, and the man who allegedly fired at him was in custody after being captured by passing drivers.
“The doctors tell us his organs are in great shape,” Louisiana State Police Supt. Michael D. Edmonson said of the 13-year veteran trooper, Steven Vincent, 43, during a news conference Sunday night. But “his brain isn’t telling the rest of his body what to do.”
Vincent was responding to a report of a suspected drunken driver outside Bell City, about 50 miles east of the Texas border, just before 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET), Edmondson said.
In a ditch, the trooper found a pickup truck that belonged to Kevin Daigle, 54. Edmondson said that in video of the encounter, he could hear Vincent offering assistance to Daigle.
“Why don’t you get out?” he said Vincent asked. “I’ll help you.”
Then, Edmondson said, “I saw a shotgun blast.”
In the video, Daigle could be seen wandering in the roadway and talking to Vincent as the trooper struggled to call for help, Edmonson said. “You’re going to die soon,” he heard the man tell the trooper.
A passing driver saw Vincent lying on the ground, so he stopped and wrestled the shotgun away from Daigle, police said. With the help of a second driver, the pair used Vincent’s handcuffs to subdue Daigle, Edmonson said.
Edmonson said that Daigle was “known” to the police and that he been stopped “many times” for “numerous DWIs.”
Daigle was to face charges of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, Edmonson said.
Edmonson described Vincent as an honorable officer with a wife and a 9-year-old son. One of his brothers is the police chief in Iowa, Louisiana. Another sibling is also a state trooper.