La. Police Dies Unexpectedly while On Duty at Grocery Store

May 29, 2024
Ponchatoula Police Cpl. Pricilla Dean Pierson, a six-year veteran of the department who began as a part-time communications officer, was found unresponsive in her cruiser at a grocery store.

An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday on a Ponchatoula police officer who died while on duty Tuesday morning at a local grocery store.

Police Chief Bry Layrisson was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon, but in a social media post identified the officer as Cpl. Pricilla Dean Pierson.

Layrisson said police received a call at around 10 a.m. Tuesday about an unresponsive officer at the Rouses Market. Police and other first responders found Pierson dead at the scene.

The Tangipahoa Parish Coroner's Office determined that Pierson was deceased, Layrisson said. The cause of death is unknown at this time, the post said.

Tangipahoa Parish Coroner Rick Foster said an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

State Rep. Kim Coates, R- Ponchatoula, told House colleagues Tuesday evening that Pierson was found dead in her patrol car. The House of Representativs also held a moment of silence for Pierson.

Layrisson said Pierson was a six-year veteran of the police department who began as a part-time communications officer and rose to the rank of corporal in the patrol division.

"She was a great person, wife, and an outstanding mother," the statement said.

Pierson's husband, Capt. Larry Pierson, has been with the Ponchatoula Police Department more than 25 years, the statement said.

"She leaves her husband, Larry Pierson, three children, and two step-children behind." the statement said.

"Our community has experienced a tremendous loss today," Layrisson said. "We ask that you continue praying for Pricilla's family, Larry, and her friends and co-workers."

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