Update: Deputy from Mississippi improving after being shot by Louisiana armed robbery suspect

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

The wife of a sheriff’s deputy who was shot Thursday by an armed robbery suspect reported her husband is out of surgery, but likely will remain in the hospital for several days. She also confirmed that her husband killed the man who shot him.

The incident occurred in the small town of Vidalia, Louisiana, just across the river from Natchez, Mississippi. The officer, Walter J. Mackel, is a Natchez native, son of a long-time Natchez city police officer.

Pamala Mackel wrote an update on her husband’s condition late Thursday and posted on social media. Her husband, Concordia Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office deputy Walter J. Mackel was shot Thursday while attempting to locate an armed robbery suspect.

“I want to think God for holding my husband in his hands today,” she wrote. “Doctors have explained to me just how blessed he is considering the bullet entry and how severe this could’ve been.”

She wrote that the bullet that struck her husband pierce his left lung and kidney. secondly , I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and overwhelming support during this difficult time. She thanked everyone who was praying for her husband and their family and wrote, “Mackel was able to shoot and kill the man who shot him.”

Mackel and other deputies responded to the River Manor Apartments in Vidalia and encountered Kaleb Melton, 21. Gunfire was exchanged and both Melton and Mackel were shot.

Authorities believed Melton was holed up inside the apartment for a while. After teams teargassed the apartment and entered they found Melton dead.

Mackel is a veteran law enforcement officer in the Natchez, Mississippi, and Vidalia, Louisiana, area, having begun working after returning from service as Navy Corpsman for the U.S. Marine Corps.