Shooter identified in St. Charles Parish 'ambush' that wounded deputy
PARADIS - Deputies said a St. Charles Parish deputy was directing bus traffic before school Thursday when a man walked up to him and shot him in the face and arm.
Sheriff Greg Champagne said Deputy Burt Hazeltine, 36, was hit three times in the face and elbow in what was described as an "ambush" style attack in Paradis.
"He has bullet lodged behind his eye," Champagne said, according to WWL-TV.
Capt. Pat Yoes, the sheriff's department spokesperson, said other deputies in the area quickly took the shooter into custody.
Champagne later identified the shooter as John Devillier, 58, of Gulfport who was in the parish for a family event. Devillier became irate when Hazeltine would not stop traffic to allow him to turn, and he even called the sheriff's office to complain. Champagne said the individual who received the call said the man identified himself as an NCIS agent.
Devillier then returned to the school traffic scene in his SUV and began to yell at Hazeltine. The deputy approached Devillier and saw a gun on the dashboard of his vehicle. Champagne said that the corporal pulled out his service revolver and Devillier held his gun out of the window as if he was surrendering. As Devillier made this move, he fired a second gun he had in the vehicle through the windshield, striking Hazeltine.
"That's an ambush in my book," said Champagne in an afternoon press conference.
Hazeltine was able to return fire but did not hit Devillier.
Champagne noted that Hazeltine was known for always wearing his bulletproof vest, however, during Thursday's traffic detail, he wasn't wearing it.
The deputy is being treated at University Hospital in New Orleans and is in stable but guarded condition.
"We are praying for his recovery," said St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne. "This kind of thing doesn't happen here."
Devillier will face attempted first-degree murder charges.