Deputy shot by 13-year-old during burglary call, sheriff says

Deputy Kenneth Doby was identified as the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office lawman wounded...
Deputy Kenneth Doby was identified as the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office lawman wounded Wednesday when shot by a 13-year-old armed burglary suspect.(St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:22 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 10:23 PM AKDT
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WALDHEIM, La. (WVUE) - A Louisiana deputy was shot and wounded by an armed 13-year-old burglary suspect during an arrest attempt, the sheriff said. The suspect is in custody.

A 13-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the Wednesday shooting of a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy and the burglary of an area business, according to Sheriff Randy Smith. The suspect was booked into the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center.

Among the charges he faces are attempted first-degree murder, resisting a police officer with force or violence, battery of a police officer, simple burglary and illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile.

Smith told WVUE that Deputy Kenneth Doby was shot as he and another deputy wrestled the suspect to the ground on the side of a road, after spotting him walking away from Backroads Mercantile, a grocery store in Waldheim that had been burglarized around 3 a.m.

While effecting the arrest, Doby was shot once, “beneath the back of his bulletproof vest,” Smith said.

The four-year veteran of the St. Tammany agency continued assisting his partner with handcuffing the teen even after being shot. He was then taken to Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington for emergency treatment.

“Right now, it looks like he’s going to have a full recovery,” Smith said. “We’re very lucky. ... We’re just thankful he’s going to be OK, because it could’ve been a lot worse.”

Doby joined the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2018, Smith said, after starting his law enforcement career in the sheriff’s offices of Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

With St. Tammany, Doby was named “Deputy of the Quarter” in January 2020.

A social media post said Doby “comes to work enthusiastic and demonstrates an exemplary work ethic. He faithfully handles his calls for service and is always willing to assist a teammate if needed. ... His supervisors said he is the epitome of the definition of ‘hustle,’ and he understands and appreciates a team concept and seeks out the advice from experienced deputies.”

The post also mentioned Doby had an unspecified military background, which the agency said “has played a significant role in contributing to his polite, professional manner when interacting with citizens.”

The sheriff’s office has received an outpouring of support from the community following the shooting.

While it does not appear that Doby will be needing blood, the Blood Center has offered to host a blood drive to benefit him and his family. The center will open an account in Doby’s name and issue $10 credits for donations received at the blood drive.

For many patients, the financial support helps greatly with out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescription deductibles, gas to and from the hospital and doctor’s visits, electric bills and household expenses while the individual and family members are out of work.

Smith would like to thank the center for reaching out and offering their help during this time.

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