Caddo Sheriff’s Cpl. Justin McDonnell was named Hero of the Year by First Bossier.
On Sunday Cpl. McDonnell, Shreveport Fireman Jae-Preston Pollard, and U.S. Air Force Captain Khalisha Starr were recognized during the church’s annual Honor Our Heroes event.
The three were selected for their service by a committee which chose Heroes of the Year from 15 nominees representing active law enforcement, active firefighters, and active military.
McDonnell is an 11-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office currently assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.
In the past year, he has participated in the apprehension of 52 wanted murderers, eight escapees, seven kidnappers, and 39 armed robbers.
McDonnell was also involved in the capture of an Atlanta, Georgia, fugitive wanted for rape, kidnapping, and suspicion of murder. The fugitive, Alfredo Capote, was wanted for more than a year and was a Top Ten Most Wanted in America. He was actively being sought by the Secret Service, FBI, Marshal’s Service, and Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
Capote was accused of the kidnapping and brutal rape of an aspiring actress and model and was suspected of murdering her in an assassination-style shooting just before she could testify against him in trial. Capote made statements to witnesses that he would never be taken alive by police.
Capote fled to Oil City where he was living under a false identity with a forged birth certificate and driver’s license. An investigation led to the discovery of Capote and where he was staying in Oil City.
McDonnell was sent to conduct surveillance on Capote while a U.S. Marshal’s Special Response Team was en route to make the arrest. It was believed Capote was tipped off before the team could reach him, and he attempted to flee in a car.
McDonnell made the decision to act and disregarded his own safety by using a pick-up truck to stop Capote. Cpl. McDonnell quickly pulled Capote from the vehicle and handcuffed him avoiding the deadly confrontation Capote had promised. The arrest received national attention and was featured on the television series “The First 48.”
Sunday’s event at First Bossier also included breakfast and lunch receptions honoring local military, police, firemen, and first responders.
Guest speakers included Former Air Force Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone and Special Agent David Bailey. Stone helped thwart a major terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train in 2015, and Bailey risked his life to save members of Congress, including Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, when they were fired upon during baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.