Three arrested after overnight standoff in Tangipahoa Parish; allegedly shot police dog when firing at deputies
TANGIPAHOA PARISH - Three people were arrested following an overnight standoff in Tangipahoa Parish after they allegedly shot at deputies and wounded one of their K9s.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said around 10 p.m., they were notified of two suspicious men with guns walking around in the Bedico Creek Lane trailer park, just east of Ponchatoula.
Deputies responded to the area, and they were "almost immediately taken under fire." They attempted to arrest 52-year-old James Loyd with a K9 unit when the other suspect, 21-year-old Thomas Loftis, fired toward deputies and struck the dog, K9 Bella, in the jaw.
Deputies said they returned gunfire, and the two men ran into the woods. They were found about a quarter of a mile away, where they barricaded themselves into a camper trailer on CC Road.
The suspects were engaged in a standoff with deputies, Hammond police and Louisiana State Police SWAT teams for several hours. At one point in the negotiation, 73-year-old Charlotte O'Reagan came out of the camper to talk with authorities, telling them to "come back tomorrow."
Eventually, law enforcement used a chemical agent to draw the three people out of the trailer, leading to their arrests around 2 a.m. Sunday.
They were charged with the following:
- James Loyd: accessory to attempted first-degree murder and resisting an officer by force or violence
- Thomas Loftis: attempted first-degree murder and injuring a police animal
- Charlotte O'Reagan: accessory to attempted first-degree murder
K9 Bella was taken to an animal hospital where she was treated for minor injuries. Deputies say the gunshot wound only affected soft tissue with no bone or tooth damage, and she's expected to make a full recovery.
The sheriff's office released the following statement Sunday morning:
"This incident could have ended much worse, and for that we are truly blessed that our deputies are safe and unharmed. K9 Bella also put her life on the line last night to protect her partner. She performed her duties flawlessly and took a suspect's bullet which may have been intended for one of our deputies. While we expect her to make a fully physical recovery, it's our hope she will also return to duty as some K9s are unable to do so after an injury involving gunfire. We love our K9s as members of the TPSO family and wish K9 Bella a speedy return to health."
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