NEW ORLEANS — Cops have arrested a suspect in the brutal early morning shooting death of a female New Orleans Police officer in a parking lot in Central City.
Investigators work the scene where a New Orleans Police officer was fatally shot. The female officer was shot with her own gun after a struggle with a suspect. A suspect has been taken into custody. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
In a 11:45 a.m. press conference, Police Chief Warren Riley said a rape suspect the officer was attempting to handcuff grabbed the officer's weapon and shot her multiple times.
Police are not releasing the officer's name because they have not yet been able to reach her relatives in Memphis. They did say the officer was hired in June 2005 and had been working in the 6th District for about two weeks after transferring from the 7th District.
"This is a very difficult and sad day for the New Orleans Police Department," Riley said, standing outside University Hospital where the officer was taken after the shooting.
The early morning slaying, which took place in the 2100 block of Earhart Boulevard, happened this way, Riley said:
The officer was pursuing a man who was wanted for rape, stopped him and began questioning him. He was sitting down, and when she reached out to handcuff him, he pushed her away and the two struggled for 7 minutes. During the struggle, he took her radio, but she was able to recover it and call for backup. The suspect, who was twice the officer's size, then grabbed her weapon and shot her multiple times.
Riley said the police have several witnesses to the shooting. The parking lot is located outside of a food store, laundromat and Urban Avenue clothing store in Central City. The struggle, however, took place behind the police officer's vehicle, which may have shieled the violence from many who were at the busy intersection, he said.
The first female NOPD officer to be killed in the line of duty was LaToya Johnson, who was shot by a mental patient on Aug. 9, 2004.