Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies exchanged gunfire Tuesday night in Metairie with a suspected drug dealer whom they arrested after he allegedly tried to run them over before leading them on a chase down Interstate 10.
Bernard J. Lampton, 27, was booked on three counts of attempted murder of a police officer, as well as multiple drug and firearm counts, officials said Wednesday.
One of the officers was struck by the SUV Lampton was driving but was unhurt, while Lampton was shot once in the leg and was also treated for minor injuries suffered during a scuffle while he was arrested.
JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said the officers involved in the shoot-out, which occurred at 4100 Haring Road in Metairie about 9:30 p.m., are still on regular duty. Deputies are only reassigned to desk duty after using their weapons if there is a suspicion of wrongdoing, which is not the case in Tuesday’s incident, Fortunato said.
The incident started when JPSO narcotics agents went looking for Lampton, whose address was listed as 2615 N. Rocheblave St. in New Orleans, because they believed he would have a large amount of illegal drugs.
They spotted him driving a silver Mazda SUV on Haring Road. When officers approached the vehicle, Lampton allegedly fired a shot at one of them from his car, shattering the driver’s side window of a patrol car.
Officers returned fire, and Lampton allegedly tried to run them down in the SUV. While one of the officers was struck by the car, the Sheriff’s Office said he wasn’t hurt. The officers chased the SUV on Interstate 10 to the Causeway Boulevard exit, where Lampton allegedly tried to escape on foot.
He was arrested after a brief scuffle, and was taken to Interim LSU Hospital after a gunshot wound to his leg and injuries from the arrest were treated on the scene by EMS.
Fortunato said five of the seven officers involved fired at Lampton.
Investigators said they seized 61 bags of heroin from inside Lampton’s SUV and 78 rocks of crack cocaine after searching the canal bank at West Esplanade Avenue just east of Haring Road. Authorities also recovered a gun from the nearby drainage canal.
Lampton was booked with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer and one count each of illegal possession with the intent to distribute heroin, illegal possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal possession of a firearm with the presence of narcotics, and resisting arrest by flight and by fight, along with a warrant for theft and forgery and miscellaneous traffic attachments.