Deputy who rushed in to stop man who shot Denham Springs officer, honored

DENHAM SPRINGS — Deputy Dakota Naquin, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputy who brought down the suspect accused of shooting and killing Denham Springs officer Cpl. Shawn Kelly, was named the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office/Denham Springs Kiwanis Peace Officer of the Year and the Nick Tullier Service Above Self Award recipient Thursday.

Naquin responded to the call of an officer down on May 11, 2023 when Justin Roberts shot Kelly during a shootout while Kelly was responding to an argument between Roberts and a woman in the parking lot of the Petco off Range Avenue in Denham Springs.

Roberts fled the scene and drove up Range Avenue towards Florida Boulevard. Naquin was driving up Range Avenue heading toward the listed address for Roberts.

What Deputy Naquin did not know was that Roberts was two vehicles ahead of him in traffic.

Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard recalled the incident at the Rotary Club event Thursday. He said Roberts noticed Naquin’s unmarked vehicle behind him and turned his vehicle sideways, blocking two lanes of traffic on Range before he approached Naquin’s vehicle with an AR-15 rifle.

The sheriff said Naquin exited his vehicle with a handgun and shot Roberts from 45 yards away. Roberts later died from gunshot wounds to the chest and head. No one else was injured.

“He exhibited the highest level of skill and mental fortitude it takes to become a professional law enforcement officer,” Ard said Thursday. “He showed extraordinary bravery and demonstrated a degree of selflessness, personal courage and devotion to duty while facing the serious threat of death.”

Naquin has been with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office since 2017.

Kelly was shot in the neck and rushed to Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, where he underwent surgery.

He was on life support for nearly three weeks before he was taken off on June 2.

The Nick Tullier Service Above Self Award was named after Corporal Nick Tullier, the first recipient of the “Service Above Self” award in 2019 during the Denham Springs Kiwanis Club’s annual Peace Officer of the Year program.

WATCH PRESENTATION

“We want to congratulate LPSO Deputy Dakota Naquin for being the recipient of the 2024 Denham Springs Kiwanis’ “Nick Tullier Service Above Self Award.” As Nick did in 2016, Deputy Naquin, without hesitation, definitely put his life on the line for the public’s safety. We would also like to congratulate the other nominees. Hundreds of officers across the nation lose their lives every year putting themselves in harm’s way, yet they keep stepping forward for the public’s benefit. Again, Congratulations LPSO Deputy Naquin!!!” – said James Tullier, Nick’s father.

Tullier was shot three times on July 16, 2016, as he answered a call to protect and serve. Doctors told his family he wouldn’t survive.  Against all odds, Tullier lived another six years.

Tullier’s father and son were in attendance for today’s presentation.

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