Brusly police officer reflects on ‘gut-wrenching’ emotional toll of gun violence after family tragedy

BRUSLY — Sgt. Jordan Zachary, an officer with the Brusly Police Department, has witnessed violent crime scenes for the past decade in his role as a police officer.

However, he recently recounted an experience that impacted him differently than those encountered on the job. On Feb. 2 in Houma, a married couple was shot and killed in their front yard following the Krewe Of Hercules Parade.

Zachary tells UWK that the couple was related to him through his sister’s in-laws. He explained that a verbal argument at the event escalated, leading the assailants to allegedly follow the couple to their home and shoot them.

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brusly officer
Brusly Police Sgt. Jordan Zachary and his wife, Chelsea Zachary

“I’ve investigated countless shootings over my career,” he said. “This is the first time it affected somebody I have a family connection with, and it’s terrible to see. It was gut-wrenching. I mean, to hear my sister, whom I love dearly, call me and explain that her husband’s parents and her baby’s grandparents were shot — I don’t know if there are words to describe the physical impact hearing that news had on me.”

“That’s coming from someone who, unfortunately, I’ve had people die in my arms as I tried to resuscitate them from gun violence,” he continued. “Of course, those are difficult. This was different because I know these people.”

A week after the deadly shooting, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested two men and charged them with the couple’s murder.

Zachary described his process following a critical situation like a fatal shooting.

“I take a proactive step if I deal with a critical incident at work,” he stated. “I’ll go seek therapy. You can’t suppress that. If you suppress it, it’s gonna eat you alive, and it can wind up affecting your performance at work. Mental health things are taken very seriously at every agency in this parish.”

Zachary emphasized that building relationships with the community is crucial for local law enforcement to solve crimes, particularly those involving gun violence.

“I think it’s imperative that they feel they can trust their officers. If they can’t trust their officers, how can we expect them to come to us with information if they don’t know or they don’t feel that once given the information, we will use it discreetly and take appropriate action with that information.”

The officer stressed that there is a better way to resolve issues besides resorting to guns and weapons.

“Put the guns down. There’s a place we can all come to speak instead of solving it this way,” he said. “I know there are other ways. I’m not trying to say I’m an expert on the matter. Put them down and stop looking at that as a solution. It’s not even that it’s not the first solution. It’s not a solution at all. You look at whether it’s on this side of the river, on the other side of the river, or across this nation. Somebody, somewhere is losing a child or losing a family member, or losing a friend. It can get very disheartening.”

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