Anderson was known in the community for his character and heroism. He joined the department in 1999 serving at least six different divisions for more than 17 years. He served the Parish Prison as an officer, Narcotics, K-9 unit, Emergency Services Unit, Maritime response Team, and the SWAT unit. He also served in Scotlandville and the Kleinpeter station.
He was recognized for his role in serving more than 60 "high-risk" warrants as part of the SWAT team. In 2010, he received the "Life Saving Award" after he rescued a woman while on the Huey P. Long Bridge.
On March 19, 2016, Sgt. Shawn Anderson delivered a baby on the side of the road. His name is Declan.
According to the mother, Laura Walsh, she saw two police cars pull out of the neighborhood and she told her husband to flash the high-beam lights and honk to get their attention. Sgt. Anderson, along with EBRSO Deputies Tarik Mokdaf and Jeffery Bennett stopped and offered to escort her to the hospital. The mother felt like she was not going to make it in time.
Without wasting any time, Sgt. Anderson delivered the baby with his bare hands safely.
Anderson was heralded for decency.
On March 18, 2017, around 11:00 p.m., Sgt. Anderson and his partner were conducting an investigation on a rape case at the Classic Cuts on O'Neal Lane. They had struggled with the suspect who opened fire on them. Anderson was struck, while his partner managed to neutralize the suspect. Anderson was taken to Ochsner Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The gunman (suspected to be Brandon Wiley - one of the barbers from Classic Cuts) was wounded and hospitalized.
Condolences poured in following news of Anderson's slaying.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, acting United States attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundson - all have offered statements and condolences to his family and friends and the rest of the community who knew Sgt. Anderson. 
Sharon Weston Broome, mayor-president of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, ordered flags at all city and parish buildings to be flown at half-staff in Anderson's honor.
Sgt. Anderson died one day before the first birthday of the baby he rescued.
He attended Baker High School and graduated in 1992.
He was survived by his wife and two kids (ages 14 and 11 at the time of his passing).