SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport police have identified the man fatally shot by an officer late Tuesday night.
58-year-old John Shepherd was shot once by a Shreveport police officer after responding to a request for assistance with a man who was exhibiting "an altered level of consciousness" in the 500 block of Americana Street just before 8 p.m.
According to SPD Cpl. Marcus Hines, the incident began as an EMS call, prompted by a call from a woman inside the home reporting that the man was having difficulty breathing.
At some point during the incident, Hines says Shepherd armed himself with a kitchen knife and became combative. Police say the EMS crew members who were there attempting to help Shepherd were forced to retreat to safety. "We see there are increased situations where fire fighters, first responders, officers, who normally would not be faced with certain dangers, we see those dangers do happen" Louis Johnson, with the Shreveport Fire Department, says.
When officers arrived on the scene, Shepherd reportedly approached officers and fire department personnel with the knife. Hines says Officer Philip Tucker "issued him multiple loud, verbal, commands to put the knife down. It is alleged the Shepherd, upon refusal of commands to disarm, began to rapidly advance toward officer Tucker who in response, fired a single shot striking Shepherd in the upper body."
Shepherd was taken to University Hospital Shreveport where he was pronounced dead.
Chief of Police Willie Shaw, who was on scene Tuesday, commented on the incident, saying, "This is a terrible tragedy for all involved and our prayers are with the officer and the family of the deceased."
Chief Shaw has placed Officer Tucker, hired by the department in February 2009, on paid administrative leave in accordance with departmental policy. Cpl. Hines says investigators are continuing their probe into the matter at this time.
Shepherd had recently had at least one run-in with the law: an arrest on September 5 in connection with a hit and run.