BATON ROUGE – The sergeant from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office who died in a shooting late Saturday was a Walker resident friends remember as a dedicated law enforcement officer and devout family man.
Sgt. Shawn Anderson, 43, died in a shooting Saturday around 11 p.m. at Classic Cuts Barber Shop, just off O’Neal Lane.
Anderson was working an investigation of an apparent domestic disturbance at the business when he encountered a suspect, according to reports from East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks. Sgt. Anderson and the suspect exchanged fire, and both were injured.
Sgt. Anderson died at Ochsner Medical Center, directly across from the scene of the shooting.
The incident remains under investigation by the Louisiana State Police, according Trooper 1st Class Byron Lee.
Anderson's compassion extended beyond law enforcement, one friend said.
He was a great, great person and a very involved father,” said Heather Wolfe Richard. “He truly loved his family.”
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard commented on his Facebook page about the fallen law enforcement officer.
“It saddens my heart knowing that we lost another law enforcement brother,” he said. “My heart and condolences to East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and the family of our fallen brother. Many prayers.”
Anderson’s slaying occurred merely eight months and two days after three law officers – Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and Deputy Brad Garafola of EBRSO – died in an early morning ambush shooting in front of the B-Quick Food Mart in Baton Rouge on July 17, 2016. All three men lived in Livingston Parish.
Deputy Nick Tullier, another Livingston Parish resident, is currently undergoing therapy after the critical wounds he suffered in the shooting.
Anderson’s shooting also occurred the very same day the widows of the fallen officers served as honorary grand marshals in the Baton Rouge St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
James Tullier, father of Nick Tullier, offered his condolences in a Facebook post Sunday afternoon.
“I send my condolences to the fallen officer and his family, as well as other law enforcement officers,” he said. “Regardless of which department you work for, you’re still a family. I love you guys and stay safe!!”
Anderson’s work as a public servant extended far beyond arrests and traffic stops. He had helped deliver a baby for a motorist March 19, exactly one year ago, when he had responded to an unrelated incident.
Gonzales Police Officer Duane Carpenter in a Facebook post Sunday recalled the role Anderson played in the birth of a child for Sean and Laura Walsh.
“Sean was rushing Laura to the hospital since her water had broke,” Carpenter said in the post. “Anderson told the couple, "We are going to put on our lights and sirens and get you to the hospital as fast as we can." Laura grabbed my arm and said No, this baby's coming.
“Anderson said what happened next was a blur. He threw on some gloves and delivered the baby in the front seat of the car in the middle of Tiger Bend Road” Carpenter said. "As the baby came out and once Anderson had the baby in his hands, she looked at (Anderson) and said, "Please don't let my baby die". And my brain just went to mush, said Anderson.
“Anderson cleared the baby's airway and then tapped him on his bottom, causing Declan to start breathing. This was the first time Anderson has ever delivered a baby, but he said it helped having two kids of his own,” Carpenter said.
Sgt. Anderson also received the Life Saving Award in 2010 for saving the life of a woman on the Old Mississippi River Bridge.
He was recognized in 2014 for serving more than 60 high-risk warrants in 2013 as part of SWAT, with no injuries or shots fired.
Sgt. Anderson, a 1992 graduate of Baker High School, worked 18 years with EBRSO. He served in various division, including Parish Prison, Narcotics, K-9, Emergency Services Unite, Maritime Response Team and SWAT.
He also served in the Uniform Patrol at Burbank (Drive), Scotlandville and, most recently, Kleinpeter substation.
Gov. John Bel Edwards also commented on Anderson’s slaying.
“Such a tragic event last night in Baton Rouge,” Gov. Edwards said on Twitter. “Donna and I are praying for the family of the @EBRSheriff killed in the line of duty.”
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston mourned the loss and spoke out against the violence in a statement she released Sunday.
“Today our hearts are breaking across this parish after such a needless loss of life. When someone who wears a uniform and vows to protect and serve is lost, we all mourn and recognize that this is a loss for our entire community and a very sad day in Baton Rouge,” she said. “The family of Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Shawn Anderson should know that this community is united in expressing our deepest and most genuine prayers and condolences. Our community is united that this is unacceptable and we don’t want it repeated. We must stop the violence.”
Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, and colleague Cedric Richmond, D-Baton Rouge, also offered their condolences.
“Another one of our peacekeepers was killed last night - EBR Deputy. Praying for Sid and all the deputies and other law enforcement. So sorry. How many pointless deaths and acts of violence until it is realized that this advances nothing - no mission, no agenda, no message - just the loss of a father/mother/brother/sister/hero. Please keep the deputy's family in your prayers. We need transformative change,” Graves said..
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the fallen officer and the entire East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. Our law enforcement officers willingly place themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe and when this level of tragedy occurs we all grieve the loss together,” Richmond said. “This officer was part of the fabric of the East Baton Rouge community and embodied the integrity, honesty, and character that the uniform represents. I am thankful for his service, his sacrifice, and offer my deepest condolences to his family and fellow officers during this most difficult time”
EBRSO has reached out to Sgt. Anderson’s family following his death, Hicks said.
"We're focused on working with the family, praying for the family and making sure that our deputies have the help and the support that they need," she said.