Louisiana Police Officer and Woman He Was Helping Shot Dead; Manhunt for Suspect

Officer Michael Louviere (WWLTV)
Officer Michael Louviere (WWLTV)

Louisiana authorities say that a police officer and a woman he was helping have been shot and killed.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told local media that Officer Michael Louviere of Westwego was killed Friday morning in a shooting in neighboring Marrero, just across the river from New Orleans.

Normand said Louviere, 26, was shot in the back of the head while he was trying to help the woman, who he believed had been in a car accident, reports CBS affiliate WWLTV. Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch told the station the officer was off duty and on his way home when he stopped to try to assist with what looked a car crash. He was still in uniform and driving a marked police cruiser, Munch said.

Just before the incident, police received 911 calls from a woman who said her boyfriend had shot her, and another from an anonymous caller reporting an apparent domestic dispute, officials tell the station.

Archdiocese of New Orleans spokeswoman Sarah Comiskey McDonald says the shooting happened outside Visitation of Our Lady School. She says the sheriff’s office must answer all other questions, including whether the woman was a school employee.

Authorities have since reportedly identified the woman as Simone Veal, 32.

Normand says police are looking for 32-year-old Sylvester Holt, who was romantically involved with the victim. A U-Haul truck that Holt was said to be driving has been recovered, reports the station. Sheriff’s officials tell WWLTV Holt has had several protective orders issued against him over time.

Abdallah Aballah, who works at a gas station near the scene, said a woman ran in about 6:30 a.m. Friday screaming for someone to call 911.

He said he and some customers made calls. Aballah says he heard two shots, and customers ran outside.

Munch told WWLTV that Officer Louviere joined his department in July 2015 after graduating the police academy at the top of his class. He was also a former marine who served in Afghanistan. He leaves behind a wife, a 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son, Munch said.

“It’s hard. We’re a close knit police department,” Munch told the station. “He was shot in the back of the head. He had no idea what was coming. As he was trying to assist someone he believed to have been injured in an auto accident, he was murdered.”

SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press