A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy shot a drug suspect in the arm Monday afternoon during an arrest that involved a brief car chase and temporarily shut down some major roadways in Metairie.
Jonathan Arnold, 22, was shot while trying to escape arrest, JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said during a news conference. The incident shut down Causeway Boulevard southbound at 17th Street and West Esplanade Avenue at Severn Avenue for a couple of hours.
Just after 2:30 p.m., JPSO narcotics detectives attempted to stop a 2015 silver Nissan Altima that Arnold was driving at the intersection of West Esplanade and Severn, Fortunato said. The detectives were following the vehicle as a part of an investigation and believed it contained heroin.
Arnold and a passenger, Justin Kraft, 26, were in the car.
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Fortunato said the detectives tried to block the Nissan in, parking in front of it and behind it. But he said that as plainclothes deputies approached the car and identified themselves, Arnold threw it into reverse, crashing into one of the JPSO vehicles and accelerating in the direction of one of the deputies.
Two deputies responded by firing into the vehicle, striking Arnold in the arm, Fortunato said. Despite the wound, Arnold continued driving, proceeding east on West Esplanade, where officers said they saw what they described as heroin and then a semi-automatic gun being thrown from the car.
As deputies followed him, Arnold turned onto Causeway. The officers were able to catch up to the car and push it to the side of the road near the southbound Interstate 10 on-ramp at the intersection of Causeway and Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Fortunato said.
No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident.
Fortunato said the JPSO will collect and examine the officers’ weapons to determine exactly who was involved in the shooting.
Arnold was being treated for his injury, which appeared not to be life-threatening, at Interim LSU Hospital. Kraft was in police custody.
Fortunato would not provide details of the investigation that led officers to approach the Nissan. But he said officers “knew for a fact” that the vehicle contained heroin.
The drugs and weapon believed to have been discarded from the car were recovered, Fortunato said.