Murdered U.S. Marshal
BATON ROUGE - As the FBI assumes the role as lead investigative body in the case involving a murdered U.S. Marshal, family and friends of the four-year veteran who was killed Tuesday, described him as the definition of a public servant.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells was killed while serving a warrant for a double-murder suspect on Elm Grove Garden Drive. The accused shooter, Jamie Croom, is suspected of killing a brother and sister outside a bar in New Roads on Ash Wednesday.
Wells, 27, was from Mississippi. He attended Jackson State University and joined the U.S. Marshal Service shortly after his graduation in 2011.
"He was a good deputy and a good guy," Supervisory Inspector Jeff Husted told the Jackson, Mississippi, newspaper, the Clarion Ledger.
Wells comes from a family of public servants. His brother is a sergeant in the Jackson Police Department. The Associated Press reports his wife was expecting a child.
"Obviously, [the Wells family feels] hurt and shocked," the department's chief, Lee Vance, said in a story posted on the newspaper's website Tuesday night. "He paid the ultimate price," he added.
In an interview with WBRZ, former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff Leduff said Wells sacrifice should be recognized and respected by everyone in the Capital City.
"It reaches way beyond what we can explain. So, support law enforcement, support those guys. Make him be remembered," Leduff said. Leduff did not know Wells, but spoke on experience, recalling the 2005 murder of a Baton Rouge Police officer while he was chief.
"At first you are in a moment of disbelief, and then you have to realize there are things you have to do. Then, a numbness comes over you because, this is one of your guys, and on your watch, you've lost someone to a brutal murderer. It just tears at our soul," he said.
A police procession will escort Wells' body to Mississippi for his funeral Wednesday afternoon.