Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story indicated that two people were shot during the police pursuit when they were instead shot beforehand, prompting the pursuit. This article has been edited to reflect the correct information.
Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A Monroe man is in custody after a shooting in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward led to a foot pursuit, then an arrest in St. Bernard Parish.
According to the New Orleans Police Department, the shooting happened around 12:15 p.m. at the intersection of Tupelo and North Robertson streets. Detectives say two men were shot at the location, one in the face and the other in the neck.
Both victims were taken to an area hospital by private car. The man who was shot in the neck remains in critical condition while the other has been listed as stable.
St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann says the suspect, later identified as 41-year-old Matthew Bell of Monroe, was spotted shortly after the shooting entering the parish. Bell was seen driving a black Hyundai Sonata with no license plates, driving recklessly at a high rate of speed on Judge Perez Drive toward Arabi.
While deputies tried to make a traffic stop on Alexander Avenue, Pohlmann says Bell, who was armed with a handgun, jumped out of the vehicle while it was still moving and tried to run away.
After a brief struggle, sheriff’s deputies were able to arrest Bell. The SBSO says the car Bell was driving and the handgun were both reported stolen to the NOPD. It’s unknown if the weapon is connected to the shooting.
As a precaution, the nearby Arabi Elementary School was placed on lockdown for the incident. No students were outside when the arrest was made and no injuries were reported.
A criminal history check revealed Bell is a convicted felon with a long criminal record, including a conviction in 2013 for attempted murder.
Detectives continue to investigate the incident. Anyone with any information regarding Bell or the shooting he’s accused of is urged to contact Crimestoppers GNO at 504-822-1111 or click here to submit an online tip. You could be eligible for a cash reward.
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