BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — A southern Mississippi sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while responding to a call of an attempted suicide, authorities said.
Lt. Michael Boutte was shot as he tried to get out of his vehicle on near a home in Hancock County, Sheriff Ricky Adam said.
The suspect then fired at a second responding deputy who returned fire and wounded the suspect, Adam said.
Boutte was airlifted to a New Orleans hospital and later pronounced dead. The unidentified suspect was hospitalized. Authorities did not immediately elaborate on the suspect’s injuries or provide details about what prompted the call of an attempted suicide.
Boutte was an Air Force veteran who had been in law enforcement for eight years, according to a sheriff’s department news release.
“The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office suffered a huge loss today,” Adam said in the statement. “Mike was an incredible deputy and more so a fine person. He was a mentor to our younger deputies, and I know he will be greatly missed by his peers. You never saw him without a smile or a positive attitude. I can’t begin to describe the heartbreak we are all experiencing right now.”
Boutte served in Operation Desert Storm during his time in the Air Force. He later attended the U.S. Marine Corps Police Academy and served in the reserves in New Orleans, authorities said.
Boutte was “awarded the Life Saving Medal for saving a child’s life” and also was credited with spearheading a National Crime Night Out initiative, among other accomplishments, the sheriff’s department said.
Gov. Tate Reeves expressed his condolences over Boutte’s death.
“His fearless service demonstrates his courage and the outpouring of love demonstrates just how great this loss is,” Reeves tweeted. “He is a fallen hero.”