A police officer in Louisiana, who had been on the job for only a few months, died after being shot at a home in Shreveport, police said.
Officer Chateri Payne, 22, was shot multiple times in the Caddo Heights neighborhood around 8:20 p.m. CT (9:20 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond said during a press conference on Thursday.
When officers arrived to the home minutes after receiving a 911 call, Payne was “gravely injured” and “fighting for her life," he said.
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Payne, who was wearing her uniform at the time of the shooting but had not yet started her shift, was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health hospital where she later died.
“When a servant who has taken an oath and committed their life to protecting others is violently taken from us, we all collectively feel the pain of that loss,” Raymond told reporters.
Payne, who was the mother to a young child, was hired by the Shreveport Police Department in July 2018 and graduated from the academy in November.
Raymond said a child was found at the house were Payne was shot, but did not provide further details. He said police are still searching for the suspected shooter, and do not have a motive for the crime.
“We will work to identify and apprehend the coward or cowards responsible for the brutal murder of Officer Payne,” he said.
Payne's brother, Overton Jefferson III, described her as "strong, caring and full-hearted."
"She has a personality that inspires me to be great and I wouldn’t trade the time we’ve had for anything," he said in a Facebook message. "She loves her daughter more than anything on this earth and she wants to see her grow to be strong and loving, just like her."
The Shreveport Police Officer’s Association earlier Thursday commented on Payne’s death in a Facebook post.
“We have lost one of our own. She was young, and she was beautiful. She was proving herself to be a capable professional, dedicated to serving the Citizens of Shreveport,” the labor union wrote, in part. “Please continue to pray for the men and women that will work through (the) night and every night to make Shreveport a safer place."
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Kurt Chirbas is a senior editor for NBC News based in New York.