WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Authorities on the scene of an officer-involved shooting of a Doyline police officer, critically wounded Friday evening by a suspect who then barricaded himself in his home, confirm the officer has passed away and the suspect is in custody.
In a news conference late Friday night, Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker refused to identify the suspect, who he said had been taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Instead, Parker said, “the only name I’m going to mention tonight is deputy, Doyline police officer William Earl Collins, Jr., also known as Billy.”
“I am very sad to say that tonight around 7:43 p.m., we lost a good man. A family lost a good husband, a good father, a good Webster Parish deputy, a good reserve officer, patrol officer for the city of Doyline that loved and served his citizens well and it just breaks my heart, because anytime we put on a uniform and we go out and we try to serve the public, this could happen to anybody. This could happen to any one of us.”
Multiple law agencies were on the scene in Webster Parish well into late Friday evening. Parker said “well over 200 law officers from all over the parish, everywhere, everybody responded.”
At times emotional, Parker said Collins would be truly missed.
“I cannot say how much my heart breaks or hard it is for me to say that for us tonight.”
Explosions or gunfire were heard in the area just before 11 p.m., but Parker declined to provide details or any explanation.
According to LSP, the shooting happened just before 8 p.m. on Green Tree Road in Doyline, which is just a few blocks away from Doyline High School, when officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call.
According to Louisiana State Police Trooper Jonathan Odom, officers arriving on the scene came under gunfire, and Collins, the first officer to arrive on the scene, was shot. He was airlifted to Ochsner LSU Health in grave condition after being shot in the head.
Webster Parish deputies who also responded to the scene were not injured.
Sheriff Parker said Collins was a supervisor at the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center for Webster Parish, where he had served for about ten years, but he also worked part-time as a patrol officer for the city of Doyline. He was on duty as a patrol officer for the Doyline Police Department when he was shot.
Parker said his primary focus over the next days, weeks, and months, will be going to support Collins’ family, “to help make this better and give them some closure.”
“I’ve lived here just about all my life, and this has got to be the most tragic day that I’ve ever experienced here, and I never thought I’d see this here in our community,” said Doyline Mayor Steven Bridwell, asking the community to keep his family in their prayers “and pray that things like this don’t happen again.”
Deputies with the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office and Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office are working with Doyline police and Louisiana State Police to assist the investigation.
This is a developing story and it will be updated as more information becomes available.