Sometime between the two-minute warning and the end of the Saints game, said a neighbor across Desire Street from where a police officer shot a suspect in the buttocks on Sunday, was when “all this (stuff) broke loose.”
Tracy Jarmon said he went out on his porch for a cigarette with two minutes left in regulation, and everything seemed calm. However, by the time the Saints had officially suffered another loss, he said, one man had been shot and police were searching for two more who had fled.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said Monday that the shooting stemmed from a report of a group of men with guns outside a house in the 2200 block of Desire Street in the Upper 9th Ward.
Harrison named Albert Fountain, 32, as the suspect shot in the buttocks just after 3 p.m. by Jacob Lundy, a 5th District officer. He said police intend to book Fountain on a count of attempted murder of a police officer and believe he may be connected to a string of armed robberies in which victims were forced to remove their pants.
Police released only scanty details of the shooting, which neighbors said happened as children watched in shock from a house across the street.
The two officers who arrived at the house where men with guns had been reported began pursuing fleeing men down a side yard, Harrison said at a news conference, and “found themselves in a position where the officer was threatened and had to fire his firearm.”
Harrison said seven shots were fired, six by Lundy. He declined to say who fired first and whether he believes the other round was fired by Fountain or one of the men he was with.
“We’ve looked at body camera footage. That’s something we’re not ready to reveal. We’ll let the investigation produce the answers to those questions,” Harrison said.
Fountain is expected to make a full recovery. Authorities are still searching for the two men who escaped the scene on foot.
Sitting inside her house two doors down from where Fountain lived, longtime neighborhood resident Connie Conway said she spotted a police car driving up the street “extra slow” and knew something was wrong.
Then, said Cheryl Williams, who lives next door, she heard a police officer shout, “Get your hands up! Get your hands up!” Shots started ringing out, and she rushed onto her porch to bring her mother inside.
Several neighbors said they heard a brief pause between the bursts of gunfire. Jarmon, 49, said that from across the street, he heard one or two shots, a break, then five more shots.
After the shooting, Jarmon saw one officer run downriver on North Miro Street after two men, then turn back to check on the wounded man.
Harrison said a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun was taken from Fountain, who remains hospitalized with what Harrison described as “minor” injuries.
The entire exchange was caught on Lundy’s body camera.
Asked what made the officers feel threatened enough to shoot, Harrison pointed to the presence of firearms.
“I’d say that constitutes a threat, but right now we’re not ready to go into further detail,” he said. “The investigation will speak for itself.”
The NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau is conducting the investigation into the shooting. Federal monitors and the city’s independent police monitor also responded to the shooting scene Sunday to monitor the NOPD’s investigation.
Police also arrested Fountain’s father, 50-year-old Albert Johnson, who lives in the house on Desire Street. He was booked on a single count of illegal possession of stolen firearms after police said they found a stolen revolver inside his apartment.
Police said they also recovered a .40-caliber magazine near Fountain, a 9mm submachine gun with an extended magazine and a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun under the house, and a 100-round drum inside the house. Narcotics and cash also were found inside the house, police said.
Johnson is a hard-working chef known as “Big Al,” Conway said. When a police officer told him that several guns had been found under his house, she said, he seemed shocked.
Police said they recovered evidence from inside the house that they believe is connected to a string of armed robberies in the 9th Ward in which two robbers toting a submachine gun forced victims to remove their pants with their wallets still inside. Those hold-ups happened on Sept. 29 in the 2600 block of Florida Avenue, Oct. 5 in the 1400 block of Tupelo Street and on Sunday in the 1300 block of Marigny Street. Authorities have not said that Fountain is a suspect in those robberies.
Lundy joined the force in 2007 and served as a homicide detective until resigning in April 2014. He was reinstated with the department on May 31 and served in the 5th District.