By Allan Lengel
Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells
Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells was shot in the neck and killed Tuesday in a gun battle in Baton Rouge, La.
Wells, 27, a native of Mississippi, had been with the U.S. Marshals Service since January 2011.
Authorities said that Wells was part of a team executing arrest warrants on fugitive Jamie Croom, who was wanted for double homicide in Baton Rouge.
The team engaged in gunfire with the fugitive and Wells was shot, authorities said. He was immediately transported to Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary, Louisiana, where he died.
The fugitive, Croom, was also shot and transported to a local hospital where he later died.
“Our deputies and law enforcement partners face untold dangers every day in the pursuit of justice in cities nationwide,” Director Stacia A. Hylton said in a statement. “The fugitive who killed Deputy Wells was extremely dangerous, wanted for double homicide and intentionally evaded justice.”
Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement Wednesday, saying:
“Deputy Marshal Josie Wells was a dedicated law enforcement officer, a remarkable patriot and a courageous public servant. Though he was taken from us far too suddenly and far too soon, he leaves behind an indelible legacy that will live on in the lives he touched; in the work that the U.S. Marshals Service continues to perform; and in a world that is safer because of his devoted service. His loss is a deeply tragic reminder that the work of our law enforcement officers around the nation is extremely serious, profoundly heroic and deserving of our most emphatic support. The thoughts and prayers of the law enforcement community will be with the family and loved ones of Deputy Marshal Wells throughout this difficult time. And as we go forward, the Department of Justice intends to honor his service and his sacrifice by continuing to fight for the values he protected every day, and to defend the American people for whom he gave his life.”
Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, issued a statement:
“We will always remember and honor the indomitable will of Deputy U.S. Marshal Wells, for his heroic sacrifice and his unwavering commitment to protecting the American citizenry.
“The profound loss of our brother is beyond measure, but his willingness to risk his own life in the pursuit of homicidal maniacs is his legacy to all of us. We are all now duty‐bound to bow our heads and pay tribute to a man of honor, and always remember and respect his ultimate sacrifice.”