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Honoring the fallen brother in blue

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Bossier law enforcement reacts to shooting death of Shreveport officer

Law enforcement agencies have shown the bonds of brotherhood are strong even in tragedy.

SPD Officer Thomas LaValley
SPD Officer Thomas LaValley

Bossier City police officers and deputies with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office were among the 70 units responding to a home in Shreveport’s Queensboro neighborhood on the night of Aug. 5. Police say Officer Thomas LaValley, 29, was dispatched to a house in the 3500 block of Del Rio shortly before 9:15 p.m. and was told there was a man inside who might have a warrant out for his arrest.

LaValley, wearing a patrolman’s uniform, went inside and confronted the man, ordering him to show his hands. That’s when the man opened fire.
LaValley was shot multiple times, Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw said. He died at University Health despite efforts to save him. Details of what happened inside the house are still under investigation.

Bossier law enforcement agencies did not hesitate to take action that night as a manhunt for the shooter ensued.

“On the night of this horrible incident, several Bossier City police officers rushed to the scene in Shreveport to provide assistance to their fellow law enforcement officers,” Mark Natale, public information officer for the City of Bossier City, said. “ Several of our officers were also involved in the search for the suspect the following day.”

The alleged gunman, Grover Cannon, 27, was arrested less than 24 hours after the incident occurred. Cannon was apprehended at a home on Jackson Street, just blocks away from the original shooting. He offered no resistance.
Cannon was transported to SPD headquarters for questioning before being booked into the jail on first-degree murder and unrelated charges of attempted second-degree murder and a domestic offense.

With a suspect in custody, law enforcement agencies began the grieving process. Nearly two dozen Bossier City officers were on patrol Friday so that officers could attend the memorial service and visitation for Officer LaValley in Shreveport.

The department provided that same service Monday so that Shreveport officers could attend Officer LaValley’s funeral in St. Amant. Natale said this is something BCPD has done for the Shreveport Police Department when they’ve lost officers in the past.

SPD returned the same service in 2004 when Bossier PD lost officer Trey Hutchison.

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Bossier Police Chief Shane McWilliams said, “The thoughts and prayers of the Bossier City Police Department are with Officer LaValley’s family and the entire Shreveport Police Department. Whenever a police officer is killed in the line of duty it affects law enforcement everywhere. At the same time it strengthens our bond with one another and solidifies our commitment to keep our citizens safe.”

LaValley was dubbed “a Hero” by Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw. A four-year veteran of SPD, LaValley was the honor graduate of his police academy class.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington offered his condolences to LaValley’s family and to the Shreveport Police Department.
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“It’s a shame that this young man had to lose his life, but it drives home the fact that this is a dangerous job,” Whittington said. “It’s a vital role that we fill out there and sometimes, as in this case, it’s deadly. We are certainly praying for the officers and the family during this tragedy.”

Departing from Shreveport Saturday morning, a police motorcade escorted LaValley’s body to Ourso Funeral Home in Gonzales. Law enforcement officers from numerous agencies and members of the community united again to line the route and pay their respects.

Family members say LaValley lived his life to the fullest. They say they plan to live their lives bravely and strongly, just like he would have done.