THIBODAUX, La. (WGNO) — “He was thorough, he was complete, he was approachable,” that’s one way Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre described Sgt. Nicholas Pepper.

Pepper was a family man, committed to his work and keeping the community safe.

“He was just there when you needed him and you could depend on him to do it to the best of his ability,” said Sheriff Webre.

Around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, Sgt. Pepper was off duty, but heard about a chase in Houma that was making its way into his jurisdiction. So, he stayed on and helped set up a perimeter around the fleeing suspect.

“When the perpetrator accelerated heading away from the stationary position, the radio traffic indicated he was back fleeing. Nick practically and logically got into the police car, I’m sure with the expectation that he would drive past them and re-engage, and hopefully get him stopped somewhere,” the sheriff explained.

That’s when the sheriff says the suspect rammed into the side of Pepper’s unit creating a “non-survivable situation.”

“Literally compressed the entire cockpit and shoved it into the car behind it creating awful damage,” said Sheriff Webre. “This was a murder committed using a vehicle as a dangerous weapon.”

Several agencies participated in a procession for Pepper as his body was moved to a funeral home in Thibodaux. A makeshift memorial has also been set up for the fallen hero.

“Tragic, unspeakable loss of life,” said the sheriff.

The suspect remains in the hospital recovering from injuries. State Police are heading up the investigation.

A funeral is set for Wednesday, April 5th.

Visitation is from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Saint Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux.

Mass begins at 10:00 a.m.