12/05/2006

Suspect dead, 1 NOPD officer wounded after back yard chase

By Walt Philbin, Staff writer
Times-Picayune

A man was shot and killed Monday night by one of two police officers who had chased him through a 7th Ward neighborhood after he shot the officer in the ankle and the forearm, the New Orleans Police Department said.

The officer, who wasn't immediately identified, was shot in ankle and forearm and was in "excellent condition" at the Charity Hospital Trauma Unit at Elmwood Medical Center, Deputy Chief Anthony Cannatella said.

Two plainclothes members of the new NOPD crime abatement team were on patrol in an unmarked car about 7 p.m. when they spotted a man standing on the corner of Frenchmen and North Johnson streets in a neighborhood of mostly abandoned houses, police said.

When one of the officers started to get out of the car to ask the man why he was in the area, reported to be one of high drug activity, police said, the man ran.

The officer chased the man over fences behind houses along North Johnson Street, toward the 2000 block of Touro Street, Cannatella said. The other officer drove the car toward Touro to try to block the man's escape, police said.

When the man apparently ducked into a shed behind an abandoned house at 2011 Touro St., the officer momentarily lost track of him, police said.

Standing in the back yard, the officer heard a noise behind him and turned around to face the gunman in the shed holding a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol. The gunman fired about four shots, wounding the officer twice, Cannatella said.

As the officer fell, he fired several shots from his .40-caliber semiautomatic service pistol. The man was shot at least once in the torso and died, Cannatella said.

The officer's partner heard the gunfire and rushed to his assistance, police said.

Copyright 2006 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company

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