Baton Rouge, LA – A convicted felon recently released from federal prison shot an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) deputy during a traffic stop on Sunday, sparking a six-hour manhunt that ended when the suspect was fatally shot by police.
The attack began at approximately 7 a.m., when a the EBRSO attempted pull over a driver who appeared to be falling asleep behind the wheel of his SUV, KTVE reported.
The suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Bernard Ledlow, refused to stop and led the deputy on a “slow-speed” chase, according to WAFB.
Ledlow, who was armed with a rifle, opened fire on the deputy through the back window of his SUV before he crashed in the area of Kendalwood Road and Hoo Shoo Too Road, according to The Advocate.
He also shot at a second deputy who was setting up tire-deflating devices in the roadway.
Ledlow continued shooting as he bailed out of the SUV and ran off into the woods, WAFB reported.
“He’s got a rifle! I’m pinned down,” one deputy said over the radio. “I’ve been hit.”
The EBRSO and multiple other law enforcement agencies quickly established a perimeter and launched a massive search for Ledlow by water, air, and on foot.
They also evacuated an unspecified number of families from homes along the outskirts of the search area, WAFB reported.
Deputies ultimately located Ledlow in the forest, where a confrontation ensued, according to The Advocate.
The convicted felon was fatally shot by one of the deputies during the altercation.
No additional details regarding the shooting have been released.
The wounded deputy was rushed to a local hospital with a graze wound to his leg, The Advocate reported.
He has since been released and is recovering at home, EBRSO spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks told WAFB.
Ledlow been arrested at least 13 times for various offenses prior to his federal convictions, The Advocate reported.
He was released from federal prison in January after serving 17 years for gun and drug-related convictions, and was on federal probation when he attacked the deputy.
Ledlow also robbed a Gonzales bar at gunpoint in 1999, The Advocate reported.
“We’re very relieved the suspect is no longer a threat to the people,” East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said, according to the paper.
East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome praised law enforcement officers for displaying “bravery in the face of extreme danger,” The Advocate reported.
“A simple traffic stop escalated into reckless violence,” she noted. “I’m glad to hear the injured deputy has been released from the hospital.”