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In St.Amant, slain officer's family holds candlelight vigil

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SHREVEPORT - Police arrested the man accused of shooting and killing a Shreveport police officer Thursday afternoon, according to reports.

KTBS reported police arrested 27-year-old Grover Cannon at a home on Jackson Street. He faces first-degree murder charges in the death of 29-year-old Officer Thomas LaValley Wednesday night.

Police said officers went door-to-door for several hours in search of Cannon as they received tips directing them to his possible hideout. 

"He is nothing to me but a coward," Chief Willie Shaw said of Cannon.

Shreveport Police said LaValley, who is originally from St. Amant in Ascension Parish, was shot multiple times after answering a call about a suspicious at a home in the Queensborough neighborhood.

The FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to Cannon's capture shortly before his arrest was reported.

Cannon also faces an attempted murder charge for a July 15 on Judson Street, also in Shreveport. His previous criminal record includes mostly property crimes.

KTBS reports that court records show Cannon has an extensive arrest record dating to 2004 with convictions for possession of stolen things, burglary, possession of marijuana, flight from an officer, misdemeanor battery, trespassing, resisting an officer and felony theft. Cannon dropped out of school after the 8th grade.

Mayor Ollie Tyler earlier decried the killing, saying the city's hearts are "saddened" by LaValley's death.

"We ask for the community's prayers for this officer's family and SPD as we grieve the loss of one of our own who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting the citizens of this city," Tyler said Thursday.

LaValley was a four-year veteran of the Shreveport Police Department and honor graduate of his police academy class. He graduated from St. Amant High School in 2003 and neighbors said the family was well-liked around the town.

"He'd come home every holiday. He'd spend time with his mother. Everything they had to do around here, he would do. He did not waste no time. He was not a lazy person at all," neighbor Carlton Gautreau said.

Thursday night, family members who had not already went to Shreveport gathered at LaValley's grandmother's home for a candlelight vigil.

"This was one of the good guys," an uncle, Bryan Averett, said. "I think the world lost a really, one of the really good guys. He'll be missed."

Averett's wife, Jeannie, said LaValley lived to make his mother happy.

"Very loving. Family person, adored his mother. It was his whole goal to take care of her, and his brother, Alex."

The Averetts described LaValley as a man who, despite leaving home, always cherished his hometown.

"He was St. Amant," Jeannie said. "He was blue and gold."

KTBS, the Shreveport-area ABC affiliate, reported Thursday evening there will be a memorial service for LaValley at Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport Friday evening.  The service is set to start at 4 p.m. and end around 9 pm.  Funeral services and burial will be Sunday and Monday in St. Amant. Read more about the local arrangements HERE.

Watch the 10pm news report HERE; watch the 6pm news report HERE.


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