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Citizen’s arrest: Louisiana motorists take down gunman who shot a trooper

Drivers restrained and arrested a man with a shotgun suspected of shooting a state trooper in Louisiana Sunday afternoon.

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Louisiana Senior Trooper Steven Vincent is shown in an undated image released by the Louisiana State Police. Trooper Vincent was critically injured Sunday afternoon after authorities say he was shot in the head during a traffic stop in Calcasieu Parish, La.

Louisiana State Police/The Times Picayune/AP

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Motorists subdued and arrested a man accused of shooting a Louisiana state trooper with a sawed-off shotgun in Calcasieu Parish, La., on Sunday afternoon, reports say.

Two or three drivers stopped immediately, one of them making a swift turnaround on the two-lane highway, after the suspect, Kevin Daigle, reportedly shot Senior Trooper Steven Vincent in the head. One driver wrestled the shotgun away from Mr. Daigle, and, with the others, got him to the ground. They then snapped Trooper Vincent's handcuffs on his wrists, Col. Mike Edmonson, head of Louisiana State Police, said Sunday night.

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As far as he knew, he said, the civilians were unhurt.

Police video showed Vincent, a 13-year state police veteran in southwest Louisiana and member of a law enforcement family, trying to talk a man out of the vehicle stuck sideways in a ditch, Colonel Edmonson said during a news conference. He said the truck door opened and Daigle came out with the shotgun.

The tape also shows the shotgun blast, according to Edmonson. At least two or three buckshot pellets struck Vincent, causing considerable damage, Fox News reports. "I saw my trooper go backwards and back toward his unit, where he was going to try to get some help out there," Edmonson said. "That shotgun wasn't to do anything else but hurt someone. Kill someone."

After the shooting, he said, Daigle walked over to Vincent, asking if he was alive.

"You could hear him breathing, telling him, 'You're lucky. You're lucky – you're going to die soon.' That's the words that came out of his mouth," Edmonson said.

Daigle, who had "numerous DWIs" and other arrests that Edmonson wouldn't discuss because he didn't know whether or not they resulted in convictions, now faces charges that include attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Daigle is under arrest at a hospital where he is being treated for injuries he sustained when the other motorists subdued him.

"He struggled with the guys who came to assist – had some scrapes on him and so on,"  said Sgt. James Anderson, southwest Louisiana spokesman for state police.

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On Sunday night, Edmonson shared the incident on the Louisiana State Police’s Facebook Page. “Please take a moment from your Sunday afternoon to send prayers and well wishes to the Trooper and his family in this critical time,” he wrote.

By Monday morning, the post had more than 18,000 likes and nearly 8,700 people had shared their well-wishes.

Edmonson said Vincent has a wife, Katherine, and a son, Ethan. "More than anything else, my trooper needs your prayers," he said. "He's got a long, hard fight.... He deserves a future – not to die like this."

This report used material from the Associated Press.