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By Francis McCabe, email@example.com
Michael Hebert awoke Aug. 11 gripped by worries of a sick dog, bills and thoughts of bankruptcy.
And he had not taken his medication — Sufflexor [Effexor] for depression, Colodopin for anxiety and Loratab for back pain — for three days.
Judy Hebert knew when her husband was not taking his medicine, she told Bossier City police detectives. He became pessimistic and sarcastic.
But most of all, Hebert got aggressive and angry. Minor frustrations could agitate him into a full rage.
So begins an account of what happened that day inside 3220 Jana Place in Bossier City that led to the fatal shooting of Bossier City police Officer Trey Hutchison and the suicide of Michael Hebert, according to a file of nearly 100 pages of Bossier City police reports and transcripts of interviews with Hebert’s wife, his sister-in-law and neighbors.
‘You just need to go’
About 12:30 p.m., the mail was delivered. A bill for more than $1,000 came for a power chair the Heberts had purchased. It was a bill that had been paid for. Agitated, Hebert threw it at his wife and told her to take care of it.
The stove was broken and needed a part. The company that was supposed to fix it had not called the Heberts back to let them know when it would be ready.
Michael Hebert’s anger and frustration continued to rise.
But it was a letter from a mortgage company, just some junk mail, that really set him off. He called the company and let them have it.
After listening to her husband yell at a supervisor for a while, Judy Hebert went into the master bedroom to lay down. She left her clothes on and didn’t take off a brace she wears — she suffers from post polio syndrome. “I didn’t want to sit up there and listen to that.”
Michael Hebert went into the bedroom and scolded his wife for running to bed. He told her to get up. He said he had good news.
“He said ‘I’m sorry.’ And I was angry. I said ‘I don’t want to hear “I’m sorry” again.’ And I started crying. And that made him mad. And he said, ‘Well, I think you just need to go.'”
Judy Hebert called her sister in Bienville Parish to come get her.
Ridicule and threats
Michael Hebert began ridiculing his wife, calling her lazy. “He got real mad, and that’s when he, uh, slapped me. And I pushed him back. And he said, ‘Don’t lay your hands on me.’ And I said, ‘Well, you don’t lay your hands on me.’ And he went and got the pistol.”
It was a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a gold handle registered in Judy Hebert’s name.
Pointing the gun at his wife, Michael Hebert asked if she wanted him to kill her.
He antagonized her, telling her to call the police and to gather her things. He wanted a divorce.
As Judy Hebert packed a suitcase, Michael Hebert raged through the home, throwing her walker out of his way, jerking drawers out of dressers, tossing end tables into the kitchen.
He then retrieved a 12-gauge shotgun. Judy Hebert said he followed her around, gesturing with the shotgun, intimidating her.
“He said, ‘I know you’re gonna call’ (the police). And I said, ‘I’m not calling the police, I just want to leave.’ And he said, ‘Well, they may get me. But I might get one of them, too. And then I’m gonna burn the house down with me in it.'”
Sitting on a dog crate on the front lawn, surrounded by her hastily packed bags, Judy Hebert waited for her sister Donna Hay.
Storm clouds gathered above and inside.
‘He’d kill a cop, too’
“When I drove up in the driveway, (Judy Hebert) was standing in the drive, going through her purse. …. I went to picking her stuff up, putting it in my car when Mike come out of the house,” Hay recalled to police.
Michael Hebert grabbed the dog — an older toy poodle — and threw it at Hay. “I said, ‘Mike you didn’t have to throw that dog.’ And he got in my face and put a gun to it.”
Michael Hebert threatened his wife and sister-in-law. He went inside the house to get a shotgun.
Hay called 911 from a cell phone.
The call went to the Caddo Parish 911 center. Hay told the operator Michael Hebert had threatened her with a gun. The call ended when Michael Hebert again threatened to shoot her.
The call was forwarded to the Bossier Parish 911 center. Hutchison was dispatched to the house.
Hay, sobbing, later told police that Michael Hebert had pointed the shotgun at them. “He told me he would kill us if we called the cops, he’d kill a cop, too, and he would set fire to the house and he would kill the cop. I am so sorry.”
Hay threw the phone onto the ground after her sister begged her to leave. Hay started the car and pulled out of the driveway.
They went to Soap Opera laundromat on Airline Drive, where Hay used a pay phone to call her husband.
A police car screamed past as she spoke with him. Then another. And another.
Hebert said nothing.
It was only a few minutes after Hay and Judy Hebert left that Hutchison parked his cruiser in front of 3218 Jana Place.
He walked up the driveway to 3220 Jana Place and knocked on the front door.
After a short pause, the door opened.
Michael Hebert said nothing.
Hutchison cursed in surprise, according to an audio recorder he was wearing.
Then there was a shotgun blast. And another.
Neighbors told police it didn’t appear Hutchison had a chance to say or do anything.
“He didn’t have a gun or anything pulled. He just got shot,” one said.
Michael Hebert closed the door.
Hutchison rolled down the lawn and came to rest near a chain-link fence.
Officer Mike Pierce arrived next and immediately ran up to help Hutchison.
The wounded officer was flown to LSU Hospital in Shreveport, where he was in emergency surgery when he was pronounced dead.
For hours, law enforcement officers surrounded 3220 Jana Place. About 10 p.m., Bossier City police sent a robot from the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit at Barksdale Air Force Base into the house.
Michael Hebert was found dead on the couch, his head resting against the back. He had the .25-caliber gun in his left hand — his right hand on the stock of the shotgun.
Michael Hebert had shot himself twice in the head.