Background of suspect in fatal officer shooting revealed

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Corporal Michael Middlebrook was a nine-year veteran of the LPD and dedicated his life to serving the community.

Ian Howard, the suspect charged in connection to Middlebrook’s death, is also from the area.

Howard’s father, Edwin Howard, says that there was a steady mental decline in his son leading up to Sunday’s shooting.

Howard is a UL graduate and attended Lafayette High School.

Edwin Howard spoke with the Associated Press in a phone interview.

He says his son has a Bachelor’s degree in English from UL and worked as an insurance salesperson.

He said that at some point, as an adult, mental health issues became a problem for his son.

Howard does not have a criminal history but News Ten found 16 traffic violations including driving the wrong way on a one-way and reckless operation of a vehicle from May of this year.

Howard’s father chose not to comment on the allegations against his son and says, “the family is in deepest shock.”

He goes on to say the focus should turn to the family of the officer.

“The Howard family would like to extend the deepest sympathy to the family of Cpl. Michael Middlebrook and their friends and everyone on the force, and they’ll be in our prayers,” says Edwin Howard.

Ian Howard is currently booked at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center where he is facing one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.

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