Hancock deputy fatally shot while responding to call Monday afternoon

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2021

A Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy was shot while responding to an incident on Monday and died from his injuries. The deputy was a well-loved former Picayune Police officer who lived just outside the Picayune city limits.

Lt. Michael Boutte was shot in two places while responding to a call for a disturbance Monday afternoon on Caesar Necaise Road, said Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. He was transported to the University Medical Center in New Orleans and later died from his injuries.

The male suspect was shot by a second deputy who arrived on the scene. He has undergone three surgeries, said Adam. As of Tuesday afternoon, charges have not been pressed, but are expected.

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“I hope he’s facing capital murder, along with a lot of other things,” said Adam.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is working on the case.
Adam said the death rocked the community and described Boutte as a professional who treated everyone the same no matter who they were.

“There’s been an outpouring of support for him, his family and for our sheriff’s office.”

Boutte had been in law enforcement for 20 years, was a United States Air Force veteran and was in the Marine reserves. He leaves behind a wife and two adult children.

Boutte mentored younger officers, both in his time at the Picayune Police Department and during his more recent work at the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

“He was one of our older guys and he’s taken the younger ones under his wings,” said Adam.

Boutte worked for the Picayune Police Department from 2012 to 2016, said Assistant Chief James Bolton. Boutte was known to buy clothing and food to help homeless people and was instrumental in nurturing new officers, said Bolton.

“He was just a good guy, a hard worker, always backed everybody up,” said Picayune Police Department Captain Rhonda Johnson. “I’d want him by my side any time.”

Boutte started at the Picayune Police Department as a patrol officer and was promoted to sergeant and assistant shift supervisor during his time there.

“He’s the man that you always wanted by your side when incidents happened in town because he knew how to handle business professionally,” said Bolton.

Although Boutte moved on to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, he stayed in contact with Picayune’s officers and was happy to work extra details with them. On Monday morning he met up with one of Picayune’s officers for coffee at a gas station on his way to work, said Johnson.

Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement officers from agencies in the surrounding area lined up along I-10 to honor Boutte as his remains were transported to the funeral home in Biloxi.

Adam said other agencies have stepped up to show their support for the Sheriff’s Department, including the Louisiana State Police, of which Boutte’s nephew is a member.

Picayune Police Chief Freddy Drennan brought in one of the department’s chaplains on Tuesday to talk with any officers who wanted to.

“We would like to have continued prayers for his family and his fellow officers and we appreciate all the outpouring of support,” said Bolton.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is helping to coordinate arrangements with the family and will make sure any benefits come forward, said Adam. A fund for the family is being established.

“This loss will remain unhealed for quite some time,” said Adam. However, he finds comfort in knowing Boutte was truly loved by everyone at the Sheriff’s Department.