UPDATE: Coroner identifies HANO police officer killed Sunday

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UPDATE: The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified the HANO police officer who was shot and killed Sunday as 45-year-old James Bennett, Jr.

John N. Fortunato of the Sheriff’s Office said, “Bennett was a former member of the JPSO Reserve Division from April 2000 until March of 2006.  He went full-time in the Second District Patrol Division for a short time, returning back into the Reserves in October 2006. In May of 2013, Sergeant James Bennett, Jr. left the JPSO to go full-time with HANO.”

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The NOPD is investigating the murder of a 45-year-old male Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer.

The name of the officer is being withheld pending notification of family members. The incident took place at the intersection of Erato and Freret Streets.

At approximately 7:10 a.m., police responded to a call from HANO police via radio that one of their officers was shot at the location.

When NOPD officers arrived, they found the officer inside of his marked unit fatally shot and observed that his unit had come to a stop after striking the curb.

Detectives believe the officer was shot while inside of his marked unit in the 2300 block of Erato Street. After the officer was shot, his marked unit rolled forward and came to a stop at the intersection.

The officer was working overtime at the construction site and was a member of the HANO Police Department since 2013.

The Coroner will identify the victim after notification of family members and will perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the following statement after the murder of a Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer today:

Statement from Mayor Landrieu:

“The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act. Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer’s friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time.

“NOPD and HANO will work very closely to identify and arrest those responsible for this heinous assault. NOPD and HANO are part of the same close-knit law enforcement family that puts their lives on the line to protect and serve the people of New Orleans. Never are we more aware of the risk they face every day than we are on terrible days like this.”

Anybody with information that can help catch the gunman should call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.  You don’t have to give your name, and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

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