CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - When an officer is killed in the line of duty, agencies everywhere share the grief. Wednesday morning's tragedy is hitting close to home for all law enforcement agencies in the area.
"It was a definite sense of loss," said Sgt. James Anderson. "Tragic. Uncalled for. Just a lot of emotions that run through our minds."
Law enforcement agencies across the state are feeling the loss of Deputy Brandon Nielson and Deputy Jeremy Triche from the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office.
"When you have four police officers shot, two of which are killed, it just makes you wonder what's going on and why and how could this have happened, especially in the fashion that it happened," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso.
Officials are calling it an ambush, and Mancuso says no matter the training or weapons a department might have, it's almost impossible to protect yourself in that situation.
"You could have the best trained, the best police department in the world, and an ambush it just what it is," said Mancuso. "There's no way to prepare for it. There's no way to see it coming."
Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon says Thursday morning's tragedy reminds him of January 2007 when Officer Alan Inzer was ambushed and killed while chasing suspects off duty.
Southwest Louisiana law enforcement leaders agree that when an officer falls, no matter where, it feels like one of their own.
"When a police officer is killed, it's not an agency that loses and officer, it's an entire nation," said Dixon.
"We are the thin blue line. When we lose one, it hurts. Part of our soul is taken, but it makes our resolve stronger."
"We're all part of a fraternity, brothers and sisters in law enforcement," said Anderson. "Anytime a member of the thin blue line is killed in the line of duty, it affects all of us."
Mancuso has offered to send extra patrolmen to St. John Parish while the officers there grieve. But he's not the only local leader extending a helping hand.
"We aren't our own when they fall," said Dixon. "These two deputies, there'll be a great tribute to them. I'll send some of my honor guard to the funerals. We'll send them off in a fitting way. But nothing will ever, ever replace them."
So far nationwide, in the month of August, five officers have been killed in the line of duty by gunfire.