NOPD officer’s killer identified as 30-year-old convicted felon

NEW ORLEANS - The convicted felon who shot and killed NOPD officer Marcus McNeil will face a number of charges, including first degree murder.

NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said 30-year-old Darren Bridges shot McNeil after officers on patrol initiated a traffic stop shortly after midnight on October 13.

McNeil was one of at least four officers in two separate vehicles involved in the stop, Harrison said.

Investigators with the the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau Force Investigation Team, the federal consent decree monitor, and the Independent Police Monitor have begun what Harrison said will be a painstaking, detailed, and transparent investigation into the shooting.

Body cameras, TASER cameras, and surveillance footage from nearby homes and businesses will all be used to piece together exactly what happened, Harrison said.

A public safety statement has already been compiled, and that general look at the shooting has provided a framework for what happened, Harrison said.

“What we know right now is that at about 12:14 a.m., the officers were in the area of Tara Lane and Cindy Place, and encountered the arrested subject,” he said. “At some point, they got out of their vehicle, and when officer McNeil exited his vehicle, what we believe happened was there was an encounter. After reviewing some of the video and without going into too much of the evidence, what we know is that there was an encounter, there was a struggle, and at some point, that subject fired at our officer.”

At least one officer returned fire, hitting Bridges at least once.

Bridges then fled into an apartment, which led to a SWAT team intervention that ended with the suspect surrendering without further incident, Harrison said.

Praising his officer’s courage and professionalism, Harrison said all officers are grieving alongside McNeil’s family right now during this difficult time.

“Right now, all of our attention, all of our energy is making sure we conduct a transparent, thorough, and fair investigation, but also tend to the needs of this family,” Harrison said. “We are going to have to bury our officer in the upcoming days.”