Following ambush of veteran trooper, Louisiana State Police calls for increased safety measures
In the shooting death of veteran Master Trooper Adam Gaubert early Saturday morning, officials said during an emotional Monday press conference that he was ambushed while he was writing reports in his vehicle, and they blamed current protocols in place for not protecting the officer.
“This event has been one of the toughest events that I’ve ever had to work in my entire career,” Col. Lamar Davis said, tearing up while talking to reporters. “Losing a coworker and a friend like Adam puts a hole in your heart, and there’s nothing out there that can replace that.”
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Gaubert was parked on Dutton Road in Prairieville some time between 12:30 and 5 a.m. Saturday when suspect Matthew Mire allegedly shot and killed him. Davis said Mire was spotted in the area at about 2:30 a.m. on surveillance cameras.
It wasn’t until nearly 12 hours later at 5 p.m. when Gaubert’s body was discovered.
“The time between the murder of Master Trooper Gaubert and the time he was found is absolutely unacceptable,” Davis said.
Before and after the trooper’s shooting death, Mire had allegedly gone on a shooting spree early Saturday. LSP said Mire injured two people in Livingston Parish at about midnight, then killed one and wounded another inside an Ascension Parish home after fatally shooting Gaubert.
He is also accused of stealing a car early Saturday before sending troopers on a high-speed chase down Louisiana Highway 42, where he allegedly fired at an officer. Mire was arrested at 10 p.m., hours after he had abandoned the stolen truck on Hoo Shoo Too Road and fled into the woods.
Davis explained that when a pursuit like the one from Saturday is taking place, troopers are asked not to communicate on the radio unless it’s an emergency. He suggested that the protocol might have increased the threat to Gaubert’s safety early Saturday morning.
“This event has shown that redundant methods are necessary to ensure the safety of all of our personnel not actively engaged in these types of events,” Davis said.
He said State Police is implementing improvements, including expanded GPS coverage, alerts when troopers’ activity has ceased for an extended period of time and tracking officers who aren’t needed in an emergency.
“We’re learning from this experience — we’re getting better,” Davis said. “…if we have an officer that hasn’t communicated, we need to check on them.”
Davis explained that even if Gaubert was fine, under the current protocol he would not have gotten on the radio, as he was not part of the active pursuit of Mire.
Mire faces charges of aggravated flight from a police officer, attempted first-degree murder and first-degree murder. Davis said he suffered a K-9 bite and a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. He is undergoing surgery and is expected to be released from the hospital on Monday.
Davis offered condolences to Gaubert’s family and relatives of the other victim who Mire allegedly fatally shot. He urged the public to think of police officers as human beings.
“People look upon us as [if we are] intimate objects,” Davis said. “Our troopers are human. They’re a part of our communities.”