Baton Rouge police captured the man who fired a gun at an officer earlier last week and arrested him on attempted first-degree murder, police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said.

Raheem Howard, 21, of 6952 Carvel Court, Baker, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on attempted first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon. Howard allegedly shot at officer Yuseff Hamadeh Tuesday on North 15th Street after a traffic stop.

After Hamadeh stopped him, Howard ran away from his black 2007 Ford F-150 through a home and over a fence. Hamadeh followed him, Coppola said. Howard then fire a single shot at Officer Yuseff Hamadeh, who returned fire, police said. Neither man was injured.

After officers lost sight of Howard, they obtained a search warrant for his abandoned truck, which he had recently purchased, and found a wallet with his identification card inside, according to Howard's arrest report. Hamadeh then picked Howard out of a six person photo line-up.

Officers located Howard in Pointee Coupee Parish after a resident there reported his location to Baton Rouge investigators, Coppola said. Attempted murder of a police officer qualified as attempted first-degree murder.

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"We want to thank the community," Coppola said. "This is something that is huge, not only within Baton Rouge, but across parish lines. They're picking up the phone. They're calling. And we really appreciate and cannot thank the community enough." 

As detectives escorted Howard to a vehicle to take him to jail on Friday night, he admitted that he was there the night of the incident, but denied he had a gun.

"They said I had a gun, but I didn't have nothing in my hand," said Howard, shaking his head. "They got the dash camera and the body camera. I got out and ran. I didn't have nothing. I had no gun at all. ... I'm innocent. I'm only 21 years old. ... I didn't do nothing by run."

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Officers detained a man the night of the shooting who was running in Madison Avenue Park, which is approximately three blocks from the traffic stop. They later let him go and cleared him from involvement in the case. Investigators believe there were multiple people inside Howard's vehicle.

Hamadeh, who was involved in a fatal shooting last year, is on paid administrative leave. He is a two-year veteran of the department.

Baton Rouge officer in post-traffic stop shooting ID'd, was also involved 2017 fatal shooting

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