St. Tammany deputy returns to work but still recovering from gunshot

Deputy Justin Nail

COVINGTON, LA — Saint Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith announced the return of Deputy Justin Nail to the department.  On Easter Sunday, Nail was shot following a car chase.

According to the department, Nail is back at work in the STPSO’s 3rd District in a light duty/administrative capacity.  The department says he is responding well to physical therapy and will eventually return to full-duty.

Nail was one of the deputies who were following a car burglary suspect in the Goodbee area on April 1.  The suspect, identified as Joseph John son, and another man  were accused of committing at least nine car burglaries that weekend.  Deputies were able to arrest the second suspect.

The chase ended when Johnson crashed his car on Hwy 1077 near Railroad Avenue.  The man and deputies exchanged gunfire, and the Johnson was killed.  Nail was shot in the abdomen.

Not only was the car that the suspect was driving stolen, according to deputies, so was the gun that was used to shoot Nail.

The North Shore community rallied to help Nail and his family.  Multiple blood drives were organized as fundraisers for the family.

The STPSO’s 3rd District covers Lacombe, Mandeville, Madisonville, and parts of Covington.

“…we look forward to his release to full-duty in the future,” a statement reads that announced Nails return to light duty. “Welcome back, Dy. Nail.”