LAPLACE — A St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was shot to death by fellow officers Wednesday after a fight with his wife at his Pine Street home turned into an armed standoff.
Lt. Nolan Anderson, a 25-year veteran of the force, died at River Parishes Hospital before he could be transferred to a trauma center in New Orleans.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said officers tried to talk Anderson into surrendering after he took his wife hostage but had to use lethal force when he fired his gun in their direction.
No other officers or residents were injured during the standoff, and Anderson’s wife survived with unspecified injuries, Tregre said.
Shortly after police arrived on the scene about 2 p.m., Harold Basile Sr. stepped onto his front porch of his Pine Street home to see what the commotion was about.
Watching the heavily armed officers gather near his house at the northern end of the street, he said, “I said to myself, ‘Somebody’s gonna die today.’ ”
Basile said he heard gunshots — two, perhaps — and then saw a number of officers come toward his house from the southern end of Pine. Several minutes later, there was more gunfire, followed by ambulance sirens.
Basile, a former U.S. Marine and a Vietnam veteran, said he’s known Anderson for most of his adult life and knew him as a responsible man with a kind heart.
“He’d give you the shirt off his back,” he said. “The whole family was like that.”
“He had a lot of brothers,” Basile added.
He said he last talked to Anderson on Friday night when they ran into each other at a high school football game. Anderson told him that after a rough period between him and his son, they had straightened things out. His son had decided to join the Navy, he said, and Anderson seemed happy.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Basile said of Wednesday’s events. “It looked like everything was all right.”
Tregre said Anderson’s decision to fire on officers left them no choice but to use deadly force.
“To see my officers have to use lethal force against one of my very own … it’s a day that I never thought I would see,” he said.
“The only positive side in this entire tragedy is that we were able to save his wife,” he said.
The incident has been handed over to the Louisiana State Police to investigate, as is standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting, Tregre said.
He said grief counselors would be available to deputies.
“It’s there for them, and I hope we’ll get through this as we’ve gotten through other tragedies in St. John,” he said.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter @Chad_Calder