UPDATE 8-29-14: Soldier charged, officer named in shooting incid - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

UPDATE 8-29-14: Soldier charged, officer named in shooting incident

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- We received a statement from Bethin's attorney, Mike Small:

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, Judge Patricia Koch signed an order releasing Mitchel Bethin on home incarceration in lieu of the $100,000 bond previously fixed in the case. 

Mr. Bethin was released from the Rapides Parish Detention Center on Thursday evening and is now back on base at Fort Polk. I spoke with him by phone this morning and he appeared to be resting comfortably. 

His first doctor's appointmentt on base is scheduled for later in the day. Attached is a copy of the order which was signed by Judge Koch on Thursday.

Regards

-Mike Small



ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Louisiana State Police have charged Mitchel Ryan Bethin following an officer-involved shooting that involved an Alexandria Police officer on Saturday, August 16.


22-year-old Bethin, a soldier at Fort Polk, is charged with aggravated assault with firearm and simple battery.


He was arrested after being released from the hospital and booked into Rapides Parish jail.  

State Police say, the Alexandria Police officer has been identified as Corporal Clifton Fairbanks.  State Police say that the preliminary investigation has revealed that Cpl. Fairbanks likely saved the life of another citizen by stopping the suspect from shooting the other person.



On Friday, August 22, Alexandria Police Chief Loren Lampert released a statement regarding the investigation.

    "From what I've observed, the LA State Police have and are still conducting a very thorough investigation. I believe the charges brought by the State Police against Mr. Bethin are appropriate. We are glad that Mr. Bethin is doing well and expected to recover. 

    It's important to remember that at the conclusion of the investigation, the District Attorney must review all findings. Thus, although all findings are preliminary at this point-based upon what we know- I feel it's accurate to characterize Cpl. Fairbanks' actions as appropriate and very likely saved the life of the assault victim. Mr. Bethin's actions dictated the officer's response. 

    Officers are often requires to make life or death decisions within split seconds. We have the luxury of taking weeks, months and even years to evaluate. That is what's happening now and we trust the process. 

    Thanks to all who have inquired about the officer's condition. Cpl. Fairbanks - a 14 year veteran of APD - is fine."




ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Early morning on Saturday, August 16, an Alexandria Police Department officer was involved in a shooting.  According to Louisiana State Police, the shooting occurred about 3 a.m., in the parking lot of the Circle K, on MacArthur Drive in Alexandria. 

While on routine patrol, the officer arrived at the Circle K and observed a fight in the parking lot.  The officer also observed a subject aim a gun at another person.  Upon recognizing the threat, the officer began giving loud verbal commands for the suspect to drop his weapon.  The suspect holding the gun was later identified as Mitchel Ryan Bethin, 22, of Fort Polk, LA.  Bethin refused to comply with the officer's commands. Because of Bethin's actions, the officer fired his service weapon at Bethin striking and disabling him.

Bethin was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center and is listed in guarded condition.

The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations/Alexandria Field Office responded to the scene at the request of the Alexandria Police Department to investigate the incident.  An investigation is ongoing at this time.  Charges are pending and will be based on the outcome of the investigation.   

Pursuant to established protocol, the Alexandria Police Department requested the Louisiana State Police to conduct the investigation, with the assistance and cooperation of APD State Police Investigators responded immediately to the scene and began their investigation, which is currently ongoing.
In accordance with policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the State Police and internal investigation. 

"When he drove into the parking lot he witnessed a fight, And as he was exiting his vehicle he noticed one of the persons involved in the fight had a gun pointed at the other person. Immediately upon recognizing The threat he began giving loud verbal commands for him to drop that weapon, drop that gun. And the subject failed to do so," said Trooper Scott Moreau with Louisiana State Police Troop E.

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