Bond set at $650K for man accused of wounding BRPD officer

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Bond is set at $650,000 for the man accused of severely wounding a Baton Rouge Police officer Sunday night.

Judge Mike Erwin issued the bond for Eugene Thomas Jr., 34, who is charged with attempted first-degree murder (4 counts), attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, and felon in possession of a firearm.

The injured officer has been identified as Shane Totty, 30. Officials say he was hit in the face and suffered other facial injuries from shrapnel and pieces of glass. His condition is unknown.

"This is a tragic incident that could have turned out worse," Sgt. Don Coppola, media spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department, said. "Not only for the officer, but these family members who the son had fired shots at initially. But the jobs we do are very dangerous and we want people - and this is to remind people - that we're out here doing a dangerous job."

The incident started Sunday, February 11 and was spread across multiple scenes.

Sgt. Coppola said officers were initially responding to Thomas H. Delpit Drive near East Polk Street for a man allegedly shooting at his family members around 10:45 p.m.

According to Sgt. Coppola, Thomas allegedly got out of his sister's car and shot at the car his mother, sister, cousin, and sister's friend were in.

When Totty caught up with the suspect on Lettsworth Street around 11 p.m., the man shot at him several times while he was in his patrol vehicle, according to Coppola. He added several rounds hit the car's windshield and driver's side door.

Thomas was arrested shortly after, near the intersection of Highland Road and West Harding Street, after surrendering to police.

Coppola said Totty suffered severe injuries, but he is expected to survive. BRPD initially reported Totty was injured by glass from the windshield and shrapnel, but later said he was actually shot and sustained a bullet wound.

"We express our deepest gratitude for his brave service, and I ask for all residents to keep this officer and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said in a written release.

She added she visited Totty at the hospital and was relieved to learn he is expected to make a full recovery.

Police Chief Murphy Paul said Thomas has a criminal history and a history of mental health issues. He added none of Thomas's family members were injured in the first shooting.

"This culture of violence in the city, it has to stop," Paul said. "And, it stops when we have cooperation from family members like the victims last night."

Investigators have not said what type of gun was used in the shootings.

Officials reported Totty joined BRPD in June 2014 and is a uniform patrol officer. They added Totty has been placed on paid administrative leave per departmental policy.

BRPD is the lead agency investigating the shooting and Louisiana State Police will be called in to assist if needed.

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