Ramon Antonio Vargas and Max Becherer Rvargas Theadvocate Com
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
A New Orleans police officer was shot in the leg inside a Mid-City gasoline station Thursday night while investigating a complaint about a suspicious person with a gun, authorities said.
Officers arrested the suspected shooter and detained one other person who was inside the store at the time of the attack, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said during a press briefing at the station.
The officer had a bullet lodged in his right calf and is expected to survive.
No one involved in the encounter had been identified as of late Thursday.
According to Ferguson, the wounded officer was responding to a call reporting a suspicious person with a gun at a Shell station in the 3300 block of Tulane Avenue about 9:15 p.m.
The officer stopped a person resembling the physical description given to him. The officer — who didn’t immediately see a gun — tried to pat that person down, and a struggle broke out, Ferguson said.
The person struggling with the officer then fired a bullet into the officer’s right leg, Ferguson said.
The officer held onto the shooter until his colleagues could come in and arrest the man, who still had the gun, according to Ferguson.
It was not immediately clear whether police suspected the second person detained in the store somehow played a role in the shooting.
Officers applied a tourniquet to their wounded colleague’s leg before paramedics arrived and took him to University Medical Center, some 10 blocks away. The injured officer, a three-year NOPD veteran, was in good condition Thursday night, according to Ferguson.
Ferguson praised the actions of the wounded officer as well as his colleagues, who made an arrest without returning gunfire. The superintendent said the officers behaved exactly how the NOPD teaches its members to behave under the terms of a six-year-old federal reform pact which emphasizes using deadly force only as a last resort.
“This (wounded) officer showed great restraint. He never removed his weapon from his holster during this encounter,” Ferguson said. “This is another brave act by our officers who are doing their job day in and day out, protecting and serving the citizens of our community.
Thursday was the second time this year an NOPD officer was shot in the line of duty. On Jan. 4, a 33-year-old man was fatally shot by police after he fired two bullets into an officer’s protective vest while the cops investigated a 911 call reporting a potentially suicidal man in the 2300 block of Orleans Avenue in Treme.
The vest prevented the officer in that case, Mario Bravo, from being seriously wounded.
Both officers shot this year were assigned to the 1st District, which covers Treme and Mid-City.
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