Louisiana officer who claimed he was ambushed actually shot self, police say

PINEVILLE, La. — A Louisiana police officer is facing criminal mischief and malfeasance in office charges after claiming he was shot in a Sunday ambush when he actually shot himself, his department confirmed.

John Michael Goulart Jr., an officer with the Pineville Police Department, was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center at 4:48 p.m. Monday and released about 45 minutes later on a $10,500 bond, The Town Talk in Alexandria reported.

Goulart, 25, originally claimed that he was shot once in the leg and that a second shot hit the rear door of his police cruiser at around 11:20 p.m. Sunday as he was exiting his vehicle at a shopping center, KALB reported.

“There were shots fired at the officer. The officer didn’t return fire on anybody. He was exiting the patrol vehicle at the shopping center (when) he was ambushed by an unknown person at this time, and two shots were fired: One striking him, and the other hit the vehicle,” Deputy Chief Darrell Basco, the department’s public information officer, told the TV station following the initial report.

The police department has since determined that Goulart shot himself, concealed his weapon and altered the facts for his report, KALB reported.

Goulart has been placed on administrative leave, but it is unclear if the leave is with or without pay, The Town Talk reported.

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