Wife updates condition of deputy shot in Vidalia standoff

Walter J. Mackel was shot in the line of duty on July 25, 2019. (Source: Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office)

VIDALIA, La. (KNOE) - The wife of a deputy shot in the line of duty in Vidalia on July 25, 2019, has released more details on his condition.

According to a public post on Facebook, Pamala Michelle Mackel says her husband, Walter Mackel, was hit by the bullet in his left lung and kidney. She posted, "Yes, Walter was in surgery everything went well, his left lung and kidney were hit. He has a tube in his chest and stomach to help keep air and blood drained. They did not remove bullet because it would’ve caused more damage. We’ll be in the hospital for the next few days. Continue to keep us in your prayers."

She also says that Mackel fired the shot that killed the suspect during the initial confrontation. You can read her full post below.

According to the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office, the standoff started after the suspect, later identified as Kaleb Melton, 21, shot deputy Mackel at the Vidalia Meadows apartment complex. Authorities said they were working an armed robbery investigation from earlier in the morning. Mackel knocked on one of the apartment doors for questioning. During the course of the following interaction, gunfire was exchanged. As a result, Melton and the deputy were both shot. Melton was able to get back into his apartment and the standoff followed.

The standoff lasted for several hours until authorities sent in a robot to find the suspect. Melton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mackel was airlifted to a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, after he was shot.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office is also accepting cards for Officer Mackel. They say you can send them to the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office at 4001 Carter Street, Room 7, Vidalia, LA 71373.