UPDATE: Suspect in Vidalia officer-involved shooting took his own life, sources say

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UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — The man who shot Officer Walter Mackel during last week’s standoff in Vidalia took his own life, according to the Concordia Sentinel.

Sources have told the Concordia Sentinel that Melton shot himself in the head while being held up in the apartment after the initial exchange of gunfire.

According to the Sentinel, Officer Mackel is “in good condition” as of earlier this week.

UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — Louisiana State Police have released the name of the suspect at the center of the police standoff in Vidalia.

According to LSP, officers with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vidalia Police Department responded to an apartment complex to locate an armed robbery suspect.

Once officers arrived, they encountered 21-year-old Kaleb Melton. During the interaction, gunfire was exchanged. Both Melton and a deputy were shot during that exchange.

The deputy, identified as Officer Walter Mackel, was transported to the University Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi with moderate to severe injuries. Officer Mackel is in stable condition.

Melton was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing and we will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — It all started at the Rivers Meadow Apartments. Deputies say they were called out around 12 p.m. for an armed robbery. Several officers went into an apartment in the complex, trying to find the suspect. That’s when the officer was shot.

“One of them was shot, that officer returned fire and my other two officers that were with him got him out of the apartment and we set up a parameter until now,” said David Hedrick, Concordia Parish Sheriff.

Shortly after, the hostile standoff with police started and ended around 4:00 p.m. Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick then said the suspect is dead.

At this time, officials can’t give out his name, or how he died. The sheriff also did not give any details on the initial call for the armed robbery.

The deputy who was shot is Walter J. Mackel. He was flown to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for surgery.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is walter-j-mackel.jpg
Officer Walter J Mackel

“It’s a very dangerous job, it’s not for the faint of heart. We enter into the job with a soft hand as much as we can and sometimes it turns on you and you have to deal with something like this,” said Hedrick.

Sheriff Hedrick says he wants to thank all the first responders who worked to get help for officer Mackel quickly.

“I got phone calls from a lot of agencies. I was very proud that they were all willing to step up like that to get this resolved,” said Hedrick.

Multiple police departments were involved, including Louisiana State Police, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Natchez Police, Vidalia Police, Ferriday Police and many more.

UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office has announced that the standoff has come to an end and traffic is being allowed back into the River Meadows apartment complex.

The suspect, whose name is not being released at this time, was found dead in his apartment.

Officials say the incident started as an armed robbery investigation.

Officials also say that Deputy Walter Mackel was shot around noon and that he is currently in surgery.

The investigation has been turned over to the Louisiana State Police.

UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified the deputy shot as Walter J. Mackel.

Walter J. Mackel (Courtesy of Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office)

He has been transported to UMC and deputies have received positive updates from officers of the Pearl Mississippi Police Department, who are standing watch at this time.

UPDATE: VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that their deputies and officers from 4 other agencies are currently working the standoff.

The situation is happening at the Rivers Meadow Apartments in Vidalia, Louisiana and has been contained to one apartment in the complex.

CPSO is asking that all traffic through the area be limited and if you can take another route, please do.

ORIGINAL: VIDALIA, La. — KTVE/KARD has learned of an officer-involved shooting and possible hostage situation currently happening in Vidalia.

Multiple law enforcement agencies from both Louisiana and Mississippi are currently at the apartment complex across from the Walmart in Vidalia.

A Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy was shot during a standoff with the suspect. The identity of the deputy and the severity of the deputy’s injuries are unknown at this time.

We have a crew heading to the scene and will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

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