By Michael Edison Hayden and David Caplan, ABC News
A deputy from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office was fatally shot late Saturday night while conducting an investigation into an alleged rape, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police said.
Today, a news release confirmed the identity of the slain deputy as Sgt. Shawn Anderson.
“Sgt. Shawn Anderson died following a struggle in which shots were fired,” a statement from the department read. “He and another deputy had responded to a business as part of a rape investigation.”
Anderson was conducting the investigation near a barber shop in East Baton Rouge, and struggled with the shooting suspect before being killed, police said.
(A sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana is dead after being shot near a movie theater in Baton Rouge while on duty. Courtesy of the Associated Press and YouTube)
“At approximately 11:00 p.m. two East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies entered the Classic Cuts business at 16040 Hatteras Ave. in reference to a rape investigation,” police said in the news release, “While inside the business, deputies struggled with the suspect and shots were fired.”
The deputy was taken to Ochsner Medical Center following the shooting, and he was pronounced dead there, according to police.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles took his body from Ochsner to the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s office shortly after 2 a.m., according to the Times-Picayune newspaper.
“It’s a tragic night for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, one of our deputies has been shot and killed,” East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said at the press conference.
“Right now Sheriff Gautreaux is with the family. We are focused on working with the family, praying for the family and making sure our deputies have the help and support they need.”
(A Sheriff’s Deputy killed over the weekend was remembered, exactly one year after he helped bring a life into the world. Courtesy of Inside Edition and YouTube)
Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish and the City of Baton Rouge Sharon Weston Broome, also at the press conference, said “this is certainly a tragedy for the community.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted about the incident, calling it a tragic event.
“Such a tragic event last night in Baton Rouge. Donna & I are praying for the family of the @EBRSheriff killed in the line of duty,” he wrote.
The Louisiana State Police, who were contacted shortly before midnight to investigate the shooting, are leading the investigation into the Deputy’s shooting.
Police noted that Anderson drew positive attention in his community in part for helping to deliver a baby on the side of the road last year.
He was presented the Life Saving Award in 2010 for saving the life of a woman on Old Mississippi River bridge, and recognized in 2014 for serving more than sixty high risk warrants in 2013 as a part of SWAT with no injuries or shots fired, police said.
He joined the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office in 1999, police said.
This particular sheriff’s office is no stranger to tragedy.
Three law enforcement officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July 2016 in an incident that was described as an ambush style attack. One of them was a member of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department, and the other two served with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
ABC News’ Matt Foster contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: Our condolences to the EBRSO. May Sgt. Anderson rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.