A suspected armed robber who traded fire with a customer outside a New Orleans East service station early Wednesday morning was in critical condition at a hospital, police said.

Police said that just before 5 a.m., the robber walked into the Shell station at 3901 Downman Road near Chef Menteur Highway and demanded money from the store clerk. Then he demanded a wallet and keys from a customer.

The 43-year-old customer handed those items over but then walked to his vehicle, retrieved a handgun and ordered the robber to stop. The robber responded by firing several shots, police said, and the customer returned fire.

The robber was hit, ran around the station and collapsed. The customer held him at gunpoint until police arrived and did not fire any more shots, police said.

The wounded man was taken to a hospital and was listed in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon. Police said they found cocaine, heroin and prescription pills in his possession. They planned to book him on counts of armed robbery, possession of stolen property and possession of illegal narcotics.

Police were still working on identifying the man as of Wednesday afternoon. They said the gun he used was reported stolen from a vehicle in Algiers in 2014.