APSO arrests three for shooting deputy in Donaldsonville Tuesday

STAFF REPORT @dvillechief
Atkins

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies apprehended a man involved in the shooting of APSO deputy James Atkins on Tuesday, January 20, according to Chief Deputy Tony Bacala.

At around 3 p.m. Deputy Atkins conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle that was occupied by two men and a woman who stole ammunition from Wal-Mart in Donaldsonville earlier in the day on Tuesday.

When Deputy Atkins stopped the vehicle, the passenger of the vehicle opened fire on him.

According to Chief Bacala, three rounds were fired toward Deputy Atkins. One hitting his sheriff’s office cruiser, and another struck Deputy Atkins in the hand.  He then sought refuge at a nearby house where the resident called 911.

Deputy Atkins was rushed to a local hospital where he was released on Wednesday, January 21 and is expected to make a full recovery.

The two accomplices, a man and a woman, were detained shortly after the shooting. They were later identified as 27-year-old Jennifer McGhee and 27-year-old Chadwick Schwender. They attempted to break into a residence by kicking in the door and forcing the homeowner to relinquish the keys to the vehicle. Deputies recovered the stolen vehicle in a ditch and were apprehended on scene.

A manhunt immediately took place for the third suspect, John Wesley McMullen, 35, who was apprehended around 7:30 p.m. hiding in a shed in a field in Donaldsonville. 

Louisiana State Police, Assumption Parish Sheriff’s deputies, Elayn Hunt K-9 units, and other investigators assisted APSO in the search.

As the investigation continued, it was learned that Schwender was the shooter who fired at Deputy Atkins.

Chadwick Schwender, 27, of 3217 Sutton Drive, Orlando, Florida, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, flight from an officer, theft of good under $500, armed robbery, aggravated burglary with a weapon, aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal use of weapons, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, home invasion, and illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500.

Jennifer McGhee, 27, no known address, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, flight from an officer, theft of goods under $500, armed robbery, aggravated burglary with a weapon, aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal use of weapons, possession of firearm by convicted felon, home invasion, and illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500.

John Wesley McMullen, 35, no known address, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, flight from an officer, armed robbery, aggravated burglary with weapon, aggravated assault with a firearm, fugitive from another agency, illegal use of weapons, home invasion, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, theft of goods under $500, and illegal possession of stolen things over $1,500.

McMullen faces charges with Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida for robbery, kidnapping, arson, and attempted-first degree murder.