Kenner’s Police Chief Steve Caraway says a narcotics officer was justified when he shot and killed a drug suspect Tuesday night, “The officer inside the vehicle was trying to get the keys out of the car and the driver was striking him to avoid him stopping the car.”
He says two undercover cops were investigating two individuals suspected of drug activity inside a car at a gas station along Airline Highway.
When one of the plainclothes cops leaned in to pull keys from the ignition Caraway says is when the suspect drove off, with the narcotics officer still inside, “In a very very short distance it was going an excess of 50 miles per hour.”
Caraway says the plainclothes cop shot the driver four times while the car was in motion, three rounds to the abdomen and one to the head.
With both front seats reclined, the driver, a passenger and the officer eventually crashed into a parked pick-up truck and through a neighbor’s fence.
Neighbor Cyrion Jenkins rolled cell phone video moments after 31 year old Eldrin Smart crashed his car, already shot in the head by a Kenner narcotics officer taken for a ride, “It started at the store. A guy backed out. Undercover was sitting there already and from there is where it kicked off.”
Smart was pronounced dead at the scene.
He is from Lutcher, on parole for gun, drugs and escape felonies plus been arrested 22 times.
Police say an unidentified passenger charged with marijuana possession was cooperative.
Both undercover officers are considered seasoned vets, on the force more than ten years and who according to the police chief, conducted themselves by the book.