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St. Tammany Parish deputy shot, 13-year-old in custody

During the struggle, the deputy was shot once in the back below his bulletproof vest.

WALDHEIM, La. — St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Doby was released from Lakeview Hospital Wednesday afternoon after being shot in the back that morning by a 13-year-old burglary suspect, according to STPSO officials.

Doby responded just before 3 a.m. to a burglary after a store’s alarm went off. 

Backroads Mercantile is located along Highway 21 and 1083 in Waldheim. According to STPSO, Doby saw someone walking down the street after the alarm went off. He got out of his unit and the person shot him in the back, STPSO said. The sheriff's office says the suspect was a 13-year-old boy from Waldheim. 

“It’s a scary call when you get woken up at 3 a.m. and they say one of your deputies has been shot,” said Sheriff Randy Smith.

According to STPSO, Deputy Doby helped arrest the teen before being brought to the hospital. 

“The doctors say he’s going to recover and be fine,” Sheriff Smith said. 

Deputy Doby has been with STPSO for four years. Prior to that he was with the Washington and Tangipahoa sheriff’s offices. He was recognized just last month for stopping to help someone change a tire on a dangerous curve. In 2019, he was named Criminal Patrol Deputy of the Quarter for his ‘Go getter attitude, enthusiasm, and work ethic.’

“He’s well trained, very knowledgeable and an excellent deputy for us,” Sheriff Smith said. 

Pete Tulli has owned Backroads Mercantile for 18 years. 

“We get a lot of regulars that come in. Same people everyday,” he said. 

He had to close shortly after the break in. 

“We were down for a few hours. It hurt my breakfast business. We get a big breakfast crowd in, but we’ll be alright,” he Tulli said. 

He said has only had two attempted break-ins until this year. Just in the last month, he’s had three. He said this was the first time someone actually broke inside and stole a few items. 

“Two boxes of cigars and a half of nicotine patches. Total of about $15 dollars of retail,” he said. “Not much of anything."

The 13-year-old suspect is now in the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center on the following charges:

Attempted First Degree Murder, Resisting a Police Officer with Force or Violence, Battery of a Police Officer, Injury Medical Attention, Simple Burglary, Illegal Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile, and Illegal Possession of Stolen Goods

A blood drive is being held Friday to benefit Deputy Doby. While he does not need blood, he will receive a $10 donation for every blood donation in his name to help with medical expense. The drive is being held from 9 to 3 at the elections training room next to the Registrar of Voter’s Office in Covington. Blood donations can also be made at The Blood Center’s Slidell Donor Center or one of the nine blood center locations at any time in Deputy Doby’s name.

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