Garda Brian Hanrahan, who is married and has a young child, was shot twice in what police believe was an attempted mugging in New Orleans at 5.40am local time on Tuesday.
He received serious injuries, including to his lower back and leg, but his life is not believed to be in danger. It is thought his kidney was hit by one of the bullets.
The 32-year-old, who is originally from south Tipperary and based in Limerick, was on holiday with his dad. He was on his own at the time of the shooting.
The New Orleans Police Department said he was approached by a gunman, who demanded money and that the victim refused.
It is believed arrangements have been made to fly Mr Hanrahan’s wife, Emma, and their two-year-old daughter to New Orleans.
One local source near the family home at Fendale, on the outskirts of Newcastle West, said: “They are a lovely couple and Emma works at Pat Dooley’s pharmacy in Bishop Street.
"We were told he was on his way back to the hotel when he was set upon by a group who mugged and robbed him. He was shot in the back and the thigh and it seems he is lucky to be alive, given the injuries he received. He had an operation and one bullet was removed.”
Newcastle West publican Pat Whelan said the town was stunned: “I know Brian and Emma very well. He has been here for over six years. As a garda, you couldn’t meet a finer member.”
Local businessman Declan O’Grady said: “Brian is a fine garda and a very solid, good person. He is approachable and certainly a part of the community here in Newcastle West.”