Covering Louisiana

Aug 16, 2014 8:25 PM by AP

Alexandria officer shoots Fort Polk soldier

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - State police are investigating after an Alexandria police officer shot a Fort Polk soldier in a convenience store parking lot.

The shooting happened about 3 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of a Circle K on MacArthur Drive, a busy Alexandria thoroughfare, officials said.

An unnamed officer shot 22-year-old Mitchel Ryan Bethin of Fort Polk, saying Bethin aimed a handgun at the head of another man involved in a fight

"Upon recognizing the threat, the officer began giving loud verbal commands for the suspect to drop his weapon," Master Trooper Scott Moreau wrote in a press release.

When Bethin didn't obey, the officer fired, hitting Bethin at least once.

Bethin was wounded and taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in guarded condition Saturday

Alexandria police turned the investigation over to Louisiana State Police, as is standard procedure, and placed the officer on paid leave until the inquiry is concluded.

Moreau said criminal charges are expected to be filed against Bethin. He says no one else has been arrested or cited so far in the fight, but said the investigation is ongoing.

Moreau said he didn't know Bethin's name and rank. Fort Polk officials and Bethin's family members did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Associated Press Saturday.

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