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MBI identifies suspect in Hancock County Deputy shooting

Lieutenant Michael Boutte
Photo courtesy of MS Department of Public Safety

Additional information surrounding the killing of a Hancock County Deputy has been released by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. 

Lieutenant Michael Boutte passed away Monday night after he was airlifted to a New Orleans hospital. This followed an exchange of gunfire with a suspect, who has now been identified by the MBI as Joseph Michael Rohrbacker, at a home on Earl C. Ladner Road where he was responding to a welfare concern call. 

Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam told WLOX that another deputy on the scene shot Rohrbacker who was also airlifted to the hospital. According to the MBI, Rohrbacker is receiving treatment for his injuries and will be extradited to Mississippi to face charges but those charges were not specified. 

Lieutenant Boutte’s body was escorted back to Mississippi with the assistance of several law enforcement agencies. Tributes to the fallen officer continue to pour in as the community honors his eight-year career in law enforcement preceded by his time in the U.S. Air Force, where he served in Operation Desert Storm, and a stint at the United States Marine Corps Police Academy. 

“Mike was an incredible deputy and more so a fine person. He was a mentor to our younger deputies and I know he will be greatly missed by his peers. You never saw him without a smile or a positive attitude. I can’t begin to describe the heartbreak we are all experiencing right now. My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to his family and loved ones,” Sheriff Adam said.

Governor Tate Reeves opened his press briefing this afternoon by reflecting on Lieutenant Boutte’s service to his community and noted that he will receive every honor the state has to offer. 

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