A driver suspected of being high on drugs when he hit a light pole was shot and wounded Thursday while fighting with a security guard who stopped to help him, witnesses and authorities said.
The 23-year-old security guard, who shot the motorist twice in the stomach, probably won’t face charges, a Baton Rouge police spokesman said, although he added that the incident on Sherwood Forest Boulevard is still under investigation.
But the 33-year-old man the private security guard shot could face charges, in addition to traffic citations for the accident, after he is released from the hospital, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely Jr., the police spokesman.
McKneely said the man appeared to be under the influence of narcotics at the time of the incident, which occurred about 8:30 a.m. just north of Old Hammond Highway.
Witnesses said he was driving erratically prior to the accident, screamed at other drivers after he got out of his car and then struggled with a security guard who was passing through and had stopped at the scene of the crash.
The shooting victim, who is expected to survive, was being treated at a hospital, authorities said Thursday.
Police did not identify him or the security guard who shot him.
Katie Pate, who lives near the site of the shooting, said she saw what happened.
Her account was backed by other neighbors, some of whom only saw part of the incident.
Pate said the man who was shot had been driving erratically in a dark gray Chevrolet Malibu, knocked down a light pole, clipped another car and then crossed the median before coming to a stop on the other side.
Pate said the man emerged from the wrecked car and started screaming obscenities at other cars.
Pate said the confrontation between the man and the security guard, who was carrying a holstered pistol and had handcuffs tucked into his belt, escalated quickly and that the man slapped the security guard.
Pate and other witnesses said they couldn’t see the ensuing fight from their position but Pate said she heard a shot. The security guard shortly after stood up, and then fired a second shot as the man was getting back up and “still coming at him,” Pate said.
Police officers swarmed the scene seconds later, Pate said, and used a stun gun to subdue the man who’d been shot. He was then handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance, she said.
Information was not available from police about where the security guard was employed.