One man was arrested Wednesday morning after a car chase that started with a traffic stop in New Orleans East and ended with State Police firing at a suspect who they said rammed one of their vehicles in Gentilly. Neither troopers nor the man received serious injuries.
Sgt. Nick Manale, a State Police spokesman, said the chase began shortly after 5 a.m. when an officer patrolling on Interstate 10 tried to stop a blue Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for a traffic violation near Crowder Boulevard.
Driver Demetrice J. Daniels, 29, took off westbound on the interstate, Manale said, spurring state troopers and New Orleans police to give chase. The pickup left the interstate at the Franklin Avenue exit, according to police, and then stopped near Lavender Street.
As at least two State Police vehicles tried to box in the Silverado, the driver rammed one of them, Manale said. One or more troopers then fired at the moving vehicle.
Neither Daniels nor his passenger, a woman who has not been identified, was injured by the shots, Manale said.
An investigation into how many shots were fired, and whether the suspect had a gun himself, was ongoing, according to police.
If New Orleans officers, rather than State Police, had stopped the man’s vehicle, the outcome of the pursuit might have been different. NOPD policy bans shooting at or from a moving vehicle unless suspects are employing deadly force other than the vehicle itself.
“Shots fired at or from a moving vehicle are rarely effective,” the NOPD policy manual asserts.
After the shots were fired, the suspect drove a block to Jonquil Street and Franklin Avenue, where he bailed out, police said. He hid under a house but was forced to surrender by an NOPD dog, which bit him.
Hours after the shooting, the truck remained on Jonquil Street as state troopers discussed obtaining a warrant. The vehicle’s front left wheel appeared to have been damaged.
A State Police officer led a woman in handcuffs past the truck hours after the shooting, but Manale said authorities do not intend to book the female passenger.
Manale said investigators were still trying to determine why Daniels fled from the initial traffic stop. He had been released from University Medical Center as of Wednesday evening and was being interviewed by detectives.
Manale said that the exact counts on which police intend to book Daniels had not been determined.
One woman who lived near the scene of the shooting but declined to give her name said she was startled in her bed by a rush of cars and then the sound of two shots. The bullets sounded so close that she feared at first that one of them had come through the walls of her house.
The woman said that when she went outside, she found “a little chaos” — blue lights flashing and police searching the neighborhood.