Mandeville Police Capt. Vincent “Vinny” Liberto was a Marine Corps veteran and the father of children who had also been in the Marines, so he knew the dangers of serving in the armed forces.
That Liberto would survive military service, only to be killed in a community not known for violence, is a reminder of the perils that all law enforcement officers face. Liberto was shot to death on Friday after a traffic stop turned violent. Another officer who has not been identified was injured in the incident. Mark Spicer, 21, of Covington, has been booked on several counts, including first-degree murder of a police officer.
With time, we hope a clearer picture emerges of the events that led to Liberto’s shooting and the injury of the other officer. Louisiana State Police officials are investigating the incident.
In the meantime, Mandeville is grieving the loss of its first officer killed in the line of duty in more than half a century.
We hope such tragedies continue to be rare in Mandeville and other communities. But Liberto’s death underscores the real threats that law enforcement officers face every day.
We join Mandeville residents in their sorrow for a lost officer and the grief now borne by his friends and family. We’re saddened by the thought that no measure of official justice, however welcome, will bring Vinny Liberto back. But his death serving a community he loved leaves a legacy no act of senseless violence can ever extinguish.