NEW ORLEANS — The men who died Wednesday afternoon after a police pursuit that started downtown and ended in New Orleans East both had warrants out for their arrest, according to NOPD, and there were stolen items in the vehicle from five out of the eight police districts in the city.
The crash happened on Chef Menteur Highway, but the police chase started when a State Police trooper was stopped at a traffic light at Canal and Rampart streets. The trooper ran the license plate of the vehicle in front of him, and it came back stolen.
At that point, another trooper arrived at the scene and tried to box the suspect vehicle in, but the driver of the suspected stolen vehicle backed up and went around the troopers.
State Police followed the vehicle from downtown to Claiborne Avenue, then onto I-10 before exiting on Chef Menteur Highway. The suspected stolen vehicle then struck the back of a truck, lost control and veered off the highway before striking a fence.
The two passengers in the vehicle — 2-year-old Ivory Washington and 25-year-old Brandon Harold — were ejected and died at the scene. Matey said there was a car seat in the vehicle, but it was set up as a booster seat. The 2-year-old should have been rear-facing or in a five-point harness, Matey said.
The driver of the vehicle and the father of the toddler, 21-year-old Kenneth Davis, committed suicide by shooting himself at the scene.
At a joint press conference Friday afternoon, NOPD and State Police officers said multiple laptops, wallets and other stolen items were found in the Honda Accord that crashed.
Investigators determined that the Honda Accord was stolen in the 2500 block of Gladiolus Street in the Third District on January 16, and the vehicle’s license plate was stolen in an auto burglary in the 2300 block of Napoleon Avenue in the Sixth District on June 12.
One of the firearms in Davis’ possession was a Glock 9mm that was stolen in a vehicle burglary in the 2100 block of South Salcedo Street on March 17. A second firearm located inside the vehicle was a Springfield Armory XD 9mm that was stolen during an auto burglary in the 2800 block of Soniat Street on June 10. A third firearm – an unidentified Ruger Blackhawk pellet rifle – was located in the trunk of the vehicle along with various magazines and ammunitions.
Davis and Harold both had criminal histories and outstanding warrants, but police didn’t specify what the men were wanted for.
Robert Hudson, 31, is also wanted in connection with the car burglaries. Anyone with information on Hudson’s whereabouts is asked to call any Second District detective at 504-658-6020, or call the NOPD non-emergency number at 504-821-2222.
Reporters asked both law enforcement agencies about the difference in their policies on police pursuits — NOPD has a restrictive police pursuit policy that doesn’t allow officers to pursue suspect vehicles unless they’re believed to be an imminent danger to themselves or others.
Matey said when a trooper begins a pursuit of a suspect, he has to notify both region dispatchers and a supervisor. Both the supervisor and the trooper can work to determine whether conditions are safe enough to continue the pursuit.
Watch the full update from authorities below: