Following a 24-hour manhunt, Travis Boys, 33, the man accused of fatally shooting New Orleans police Officer Daryle Holloway, was arrested Sunday morning.
Boys now faces a charge of first-degree murder for killing Holloway, a 22-year NOPD veteran, as well as counts of aggravated escape, illegal possession of a firearm and aggravated battery against a woman he is accused of injuring Friday night, Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said Sunday.
During a news conference, Harrison praised the work of local, state, regional and federal officers who had pursued Boys following his escape Saturday morning, when — despite being handcuffed — he managed to fatally shoot Holloway while being transported to Central Lockup. He then evaded police for nearly 24 hours.
“I want to take a minute to thank the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department,” Harrison said. “All of our officers continued to work throughout the evening. They all showed up to work this morning, ready to work, while they’re grieving and while they’re mourning.”
Harrison said Boys was arrested on St. Claude Avenue in the Lower 9th Ward. He was spotted by an officer inside a convenience store near St. Claude and Forstall Street. Boys then boarded an RTA bus.
Police stopped the bus and, after a brief chase, arrested him near St. Claude and Reynes Street. He still had broken handcuffs on his wrists.
Seventh District Officer Dylan Warter, who was fresh out of training, made the arrest, along with his training officer, Stephen McGee.
During the course of their investigation, officers found two guns associated with Boys, Harrison said. The first was a .38-caliber weapon believed to have been used Friday night during the aggravated battery on a woman on which he was initially arrested.
The second weapon, a .40-caliber gun, was recovered from the NOPD vehicle being used to transport him to Central Lockup and “was believed to be used in this heinous crime” of killing Holloway, Harrison said.
Harrison said 5th District officers had frisked Boys prior to placing him in the police SUV and that they had no idea how he might have managed to bring a gun into the vehicle or get hold of one while in it.
“How Boys was able to retrieve this weapon is still under investigation,” Harrison said, adding that the department has “procedural and safety concerns” regarding the incident. “We are going to find out how that happened, to ensure that absolutely never happens again, so that every officer is safe.”
Tyler Gamble, a spokesman for the department, said Holloway was wearing his on-body camera when Boys shot him, and the footage is being reviewed as part of the investigation.
Following the discovery of Holloway’s body, a wide array of law enforcement agencies spent all day Saturday searching for Boys, including the NOPD, State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, ATF and officers from Jefferson Parish, Westwego and St. Tammany Parish.
“We don’t know how he was able to evade us for that long of a time,” Harrison said. “We used every piece of technology available to us. We used multiple K-9 dogs from different jurisdictions. So we don’t know how he was able to elude us. But we were relentless, and we were not going to give up and we were not going to stop.”
The whole incident began Friday night, when Boys was arrested, then transported to the 5th District station for questioning. Following his arrest, he was frisked by night watch officers, then turned over to day watch officers who were tasked with transporting him to Central Lockup.
During transport, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., Boys shot Holloway, causing the officer to crash the vehicle into a pole at North Claiborne and Elysian Fields avenues. Holloway was rushed to a hospital, where he died.
Boys managed to escape, launching the “very large manhunt,” Harrison said.
During that time, police received tips from “all over the metro area,” he said, and at one point Saturday afternoon, authorities spotted Boys in the St. Roch neighborhood.
He was in a Dodge pickup truck, which had been reported stolen, Harrison said. After a short chase, the truck crashed into a house near North Roman and Arts streets. Although the police chased him on foot, Boys managed to evade officers again until Sunday morning, Harrison said.
When Boys was finally found Sunday morning, he appeared to be dehydrated, Harrison said. He was taken to Interim LSU Hospital for treatment before being transported to Central Lockup.
Boys was caught “because of good police work” and because of the “tenacity” of the arresting officers, Harrison said, adding, “He tried to flee but was not able to.”
At midday Sunday, officers could still be seen searching for clues as they scoured grounds around St. Claude Avenue, between Forstall and Reynes streets.
During the news conference, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the incident a “terrible, unspeakable tragedy” for New Orleans. He called the murder a “despicable and cowardly act” while speaking highly of the police officer, a father and husband who he said was a pillar of his community.
“He was more than a great cop. He was a good man. He was a good father,” Landrieu said. “Our hearts break for him and for his children on Father’s Day.”
News of Boys’ capture spread quickly throughout the city Sunday morning. At the Greater South Shore Full Gospel Baptist Church near Jackson Barracks, just a few minutes away from where Boys was arrested, the Rev. Allen Duhon announced from his pulpit that Boys had been captured.
“Amen,” said the congregation, as members expressed relief that the search was over.
At a vigil Saturday evening, before Boys was captured, Ashley Ratliff, 21, remembered Holloway’s work in the Florida housing development, where Holloway worked in a substation and helped to staff the annual Cops for Kids summer camp. “He was my favorite,” she said, describing him as firm but also tremendously funny. “He was kind of like a father figure,” she said.
That’s the way it was in the Florida development, said former resident Kim Lewis, 43. “There were other officers, but Holloway stood out,” said Lewis, who organized the vigil for Holloway near the old development. There, about 100 residents lit candles and remembered their friend, who checked up on their children’s progress in school, gently reprimanded them if necessary and always had time to talk, in or out of uniform. “The badge never changed him,” Lewis said.
Kisha Brown, 38, recalled parents who relied upon him to talk to their children if they got too out of hand and steer them in the right direction.
Ernest Franklin, 32, whose aunt, Rita Franklin, patrolled alongside Holloway, said children obeyed Holloway because his approach was respectful. “If he saw you out after curfew, he’d simply say, ‘It’s 6 o’clock, time to go inside. You have school tomorrow.’ And we listened.”
Darlene Ratliff, Ashley’s mother, said she wished Boys could have met Holloway before Saturday. “If this guy would have known Holloway, he would have never shot him,” she said.
At the news conference Sunday, Harrison added that Holloway would be sorely missed and that he had known the officer for a long time, since they had both joined the department about a year apart.
“From the moment he walked into the 6th District, he was full of life,” Harrison said. “You couldn’t be around him for longer than a minute or two without becoming his friend. And so I’m going to miss him. We’re all going to miss him. And New Orleans will miss Daryle Holloway.”