New Orleans man fires on police; suspect fatally shot

By Daniel Monteverde, and Walt Philbin
The New Orleans Times-Picayune

NEW ORLEANS A gun-wielding man who apparently had been arguing with a girlfriend was shot and fatally wounded after exchanging gunfire with police on two occasions within an hour Thursday night in the Iberville public housing complex, New Orleans police said.

The man's name wasn't immediately released.

After initially exchanging gunfire with the first officer who respond to a report of a domestic disturbance involving gunfire near Iberville and Crozat streets, the man managed to evade police for about an hour, police said.

But police found him hiding underneath a car and another exchange of gunfire ensued, police said. The man died at the scene, police said.

The officer who initially responded about 8:30 p.m. discovered a man carrying a chrome-colored, 9mm pistol and chased him when the ran, police spokeswoman Shereese Harper said. During the foot-chase, the man turned and shot at the officer, who returned fire, Harper said.

The officer was not hit, and it still has not been determined whether the man was wounded at that time. But he managed to evade the officer's pursuit, officers said.

Police then set up a perimeter bounded by Iberville, Bienville, Crozat and Basin streets, and called for K-9 dogs.

Less than an hour later, officers found the man hiding underneath a car. It was not immediately known whether the dogs were instrumental in the discovery.

The man was believed to have been shot more than once and died underneath the parked vehicle, police said.

Ballistics tests will determine whether he was struck in the first exchange of gunfire or only during the subsequent exchange, police said.

During the search for the man, police blocked off access to the housing complex and closed a two-block stretch of Basin Street to vehicular traffic.

The names of the officers involved weren't released. There were no reports of the man's girlfriend being injured.

Copyright 2007 New Orleans Times-Picayune

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