UPDATED: LPD Officer Shot By Fellow Cop During Investigation

Jan 9, 2019

The incident took place near the intersection of Ninth Street and Salem Street.
Credit Emilie Syberg / WBAA

 UPDATED (Thursday, 2:15 p.m.):

Sergeant Matt Gard confirms the shooting review board will consist of the deputy chief of police, the captain of the patrol division, the captain of the investigation division, Officer Aaron Wright’s commanding officer, and two department members of the same rank. The breed of the dog in Tuesday’s incident was a Cane Corso, otherwise known as an Italian Mastiff.  

 UPDATED: (Thursday, 11:50 a.m.):                     

The Lafayette Police Department has released the names of the other officers involved in Tuesday’s shooting of Officer Lane Butler, who remains in serious, but stable, condition.

According to a press release, Officer Kurt Sinks, an 11-year veteran, and Officer Aaron Wright, who’s been on the force two years, were with Butler as the three searched a Ninth Street apartment Tuesday. All three fled when a large dog broke out of its cage and advanced on the officers.

A preliminary investigation shows it was Wright’s gun that shot Butler in the back as she exited the apartment, with the bullet first traveling through a door. The shot struck Butler above her protective gear.  

In keeping with police department policy, Wright has been placed on paid administrative leave as investigations continue. Sergeant Matt Gard says investigators have been able to examine footage from the officers' body cameras, which he says were running during the incident. A shooting review board will meet Thursday morning. Footage from the body cameras is expected to be released as soon as the end of the week.

UPDATE (5:35 p.m.):

Lafayette Police have released the name of the officer shot Tuesday morning by one of her colleagues, as well as more details about the incident.

The injured officer is Lane Butler, a three-year veteran of the force. LPD officials say Butler was in an apartment in the 800 block of North Ninth Street searching for someone wanted on a warrant.

A press release from Chief Pat Flannelly says the apartment's occupant allowed Butler and two colleagues to search for the person of interest, and in the course of that search a previously-caged dog escaped and threatened the officers.

As Butler exited the building, one of her colleagues (who hasn't yet been identified) fired a round, striking Butler in the back, above the area protected by her bulletproof vest.

Police say they plan to conclude an initial investigation by Wednesday morning and release the names of the other officers involved at that time.

They also plan to convene a shooting review board -- a group of police officials who examine the events underlying any discharge of a service weapon -- as soon as the end of this week.

EARLIER:

A Lafayette police officer is in serious, but stable, condition after being shot by a fellow officer Tuesday.  

“At this point in time, obviously it’s a very difficult day for the Lafayette Police Department; one of our own was injured today,” says Lafayette Police Lieutenant Brian Phillips.

Phillips says the officers involved entered an apartment on the city’s near north side, but encountered an aggressive dog inside. What happened next is still under investigation, but what is clear is one officer shot the other in the back.

“There’s a lot of unpredictable variables any time as a police officer, when you’re out patrolling and responding to calls,” Phillips says. “You never know what you’re going to encounter.”

Phillips says the dog is now in the custody of animal control, and the incident will now be subject to both internal and criminal investigations.

Lafayette Police Department Sergeant Matt Gard says in the case of an aggressive animal, officers are allowed to use the weapons they have at their disposal to protect themselves, from pepper spray to a handgun, and that officers do receive training to handle and discharge their firearms safely.

Gard also says the officers were equipped with body cameras, though he couldn’t yet confirm if they were operating during the incident.