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Sergeant John William Bonnell, III | St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana


John William Bonnell, III

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

End of Watch: Tuesday, July 10, 1979

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 23

Tour: 5 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

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Sergeant Bonnell was shot and killed during an undercover drug buy.

Sergeant Bonnell was working with a confidential informant and he picked up the suspect in order to purchase narcotics during operation checkerboard. The suspect advised they would have to go to New Orleans, (approximately 30 miles) in order to get the narcotics. The last thing the back up units heard Sergeant Bonnell say on his wire was "do we have enough gas to get to New Orleans?". Back up units at this time lost contact with Sergeant Bonnell. Some time later the confidential informant called the New Orleans Police to report a shooting.

As Sergeant Bonnell sat in the front seat with another suspect driving and the suspect in the rear passenger seat with the confidential informant, they arrived at a housing project in New Orleans East. The suspect exited the vehicle and without provocation shot Sergeant Bonnell in the back of the head killing him instantly, suspect also shot the confidential informant, only wounding him, but he feigned death. Suspects then fled but were apprehended by New Orleans Police a short time later. Suspect is currently serving life without benefits at Angola state prison.

Sergeant Bonnell was survived by his wife and child.

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My uncle was a good man and loved by all. He will be missed forever.

Shannon Hillman
July 10, 2013


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