Deputy shot in St. Charles Parish will undergo another surgery, condition improves

Deputy shot in St. Charles Parish will undergo another surgery, condition improves
John Paul Devillier (Source: St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office)
John Paul Devillier (Source: St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office)

PARADIS, LA (WAFB) - St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne reports that Cpl. Hazeltine's condition is improving. He was able to walk some Sunday. He will undergo another surgery Tuesday.

Cpl. Burt Hazeltine was shot three times Thursday, April 16, 2015 in Paradis, La. while directing traffic in a school zone.

"Even with multiple gunshot wounds, Cpl. Hazeltine was able to return fire, but also radio vital information for other responding officers. One of his first comments on the police radio was to advise dispatch to alert the school board to divert school busses from the area. That speaks volumes to the caliber of officer Corporal Hazeltine is," said Sheriff Champagne.

Jean Paul Devillier, 56, has been identified by the Sheriff's Office as the shooter. The sheriff said he is a native of St. Charles Parish but was living in a hotel room in Gulfport, Miss.

Investigators say Devillier was upset that Cpl. Hazeltine did not stop traffic and allow him to turn. He came back to the scene and "ambushed" the officer.

Hazeltine was rushed to LSU Interim Hospital with wounds to his face, arm and chest. Officers said he was alert at the scene and talking to officers.

One of the bullets penetrated his lung. Another bullet lodged between his eye socket and nasal passage.

Cpl. Hazeltine underwent four hours of surgery on his left eye Thursday night. The surgeons believe they were able to save his left eyeball, however, they were unable to retrieve the bullet fragment behind the eye. They are not optimistic about his chances to regain sight in the left eye.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office is hosting a benefit lunch/dinner for the Hazeltine family on Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Shriner's Hall located at 1940 Ormond Blvd. Destrehan, LA.

There is a $10 per Plate Donation with three plate choices: BBQ Pork, Baked Beans, and Cole Slaw, or Fried Catfish, Bake Beans, and Cole Slaw, or Hamburger and Fries. Lunches of 12 or more can be delivered in St. Charles Parish between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hazeltine has a wife and four children. He has been with the sheriff's department for about 15 years, where he currently serves in the traffic division.

The sheriff said Devillier has a violent past. In 2013, he was terminated from his position and the Transportation Security Administration for "conduct unbecoming." He was also divorced in 2013 and had arrests for aggravated assault and domestic battery.

Devillier has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of an officer, battery on an officer and resisting an officer by force.

He is being held in jail on a $1 million bond.

The sheriff's office and St.Charles Fraternal Order of Police have joined together to establish a benefit fund for Hazeltine through the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police Foundation. Donations are tax deductible and all money will be given to Hazeltine.

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