New Orleans Police Officer shot in Central City

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New Orleans Police Department are investigating an officer involved shooting.

Superintendent Ronal Serpas says  two officers engaged a suspect in a neighborhood gun battle leaving one officer shot in the leg,

“This particular young man, when he made eye contact with the police he began to run away from the police and move his hand we think in the way that would give the officers an indication that he might be armed,” Serpas told WGNO News. “And then almost immediately he engaged the two uniformed officers in a uniformed police car, a fully marked police car, in a gun battle shooting at both officers.”

The shootout happened around 9:40pm Monday night near the intersection of Lasalle St. and Third Street in Central City.

Serpas says a 10 to 15 block perimeter is set up with 34 to 40 officers looking for the shooter: “The suspect we consider to be incredibly armed and dangerous. He’s a young African-American male wearing a black hoodie and camouflage shorts. We believe he fled somewhere in the area of 3rd and Lasalle headed south towards Uptown.”

photo (4)After addressing media, Serpas says he was on his way to the hospital to check on the wounded officer.

“We expect that he is going to be okay and survive his injury. He is really one of our brightest and best officers. He was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing. His sergeant was with him.”

Serpas says prior to the shootout the 6th District Task Force Officers were doing high saturation patrol in the area of 3rd and Lasalle St. to deal with a spike in carjackings and armed robberies: “Two officers engaged a young man who appeared to be suspicious in the neighborhood. He chose to flee and then began a gun battle with two of our officers.  He shot at one officer and then spun around and shot at another officer.  The second officer sustained a wound to his leg.”

He says investigators don’t know how many shots were fired but at least one of the officers fired back: “We do not know if the suspect has been shot or not.”

Sepas says police were both in and out of their cars during the gun battle and the suspect was on foot the entire time: “In this case our officers encountered a young man who had ill intent in this neighborhood around this beautiful park with all these children and we’re going to find him. We are going to find who did this, who shot our police officer and who put this community at risk.”