The 31-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was across the street from the store in the 8600 block of Belfast (between Monroe and Leonidas), and investigators found a .45-caliber gun next to him after the shooting, according to a NOPD news release. The shooting is being investigated by NOPD Public Integrity Bureau force-investigation team, FBI agents in the department, and the Independent Police Monitor.
Police have not said why the officer fired his gun, according to a report by Jacyln Kelly of our partners at WWL-TV. Angry Hollygrove residents say the slain man was given little time to comply with officers, that a dozen shots were fired at him and that video nearby recorded the shooting, WWL-TV reports.
The full NOPD news release is below:
NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau (PIB) detectives are investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting that happened in Hollygrove this morning.
At 9:18am, a 9-1-1 call came in reporting a shoplifting at a convenience store in the 8600-block of Belfast Street. Two Second District officers arrived at the scene within 4 minutes. Preliminary information is that one of the officers fatally wounded a 31-year-old man who was across the street from the location, and that a .45 caliber gun was found lying next to the man.
Members of the PIB’s Force Investigation Team (FIT) were immediately called to the scene, as well as ATF agents and the Independent Police Monitor. The FIT will be in command of this investigation, and will work closely with the FBI agents who are housed within the Public Integrity Bureau.
The gun found next to the man was immediately taken to Baton Rouge where Louisiana State Police forensic experts are running it through DNA testing. The officer’s gun has also been confiscated for examination. Additionally, Crime Lab technicians recovered ballistics evidence from the scene. Several interviews have already been conducted and detectives continue to gather information about this incident.
Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “It is always a sad day, when there is a loss of life. I spoke with the man’s father on the scene, and then went to the man’s mother’s home with Deputy Chief Arlinda Westbrook to speak with the mother privately. I made a promise to the parents, as I do to the family of the officer involved, that we will investigate this matter thoroughly and completely to get an accurate account of exactly what took place.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Force Investigation Team at (504) 685-6800 or CrimeStoppers at (504)822-1111.