Sheriff's deputy shot, killed in suburban New Orleans

By CAIN BURDEAU ,

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A pedestrian walking down a busy commercial strip of a New Orleans suburb in the middle of the afternoon shot a sheriff's deputy multiple times, killing him, after being stopped by the officer Wednesday, an official said.

Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's spokesman, announced the officer's death as police flooded a nearby neighborhood, searching for the suspect by helicopter and combing the area with dogs.

"He fled, after shooting the officer several times," Fortunato said, speaking on local television.

The deputy was not identified. The deputy was pronounced dead after being rushed to University Medical Center in New Orleans. Police and sheriff's vehicles with sirens blaring streamed into the hospital's parking lot.

The reason the pedestrian was stopped was not immediately available, and it was unclear what prompted the shooting.

Fortunato described the officer as a member of a street crimes unit.

"The normal operational tour of duty for these guys who work in street crimes is to drive around certain neighborhoods that we know are high-crime areas and make pedestrian stops, and make vehicle stops as well," Fortunato said.

Fortunato said Sheriff Newell Normand was out of town but planned an immediate return and scheduled a 10 p.m. news conference on the shooting.

The shooting happened on Manhattan Boulevard near its intersection with Lapalco Boulevard, both heavily traveled thoroughfares in the area known as the West Bank, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

It was the year's second shooting of a Jefferson officer.

Another member of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office was shot and wounded in January during a drug raid on a house in the Lower 9th Ward section of New Orleans.

Stephen Arnold was shot five times as he and others were trying to serve a warrant as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration raid on a house. The alleged shooter, Jarvis Hardy, has been indicted on eight counts, including attempted murder of a federal officer.

-AP

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