A man New Orleans police said carried out a crime spree Sunday that involved shooting multiple people, including a police officer, and committing an armed robbery was in custody Sunday after flipping his vehicle during a car chase that ended in Mid-City.
Officers also were trying to determine whether he was responsible for a fatal shooting on Elysian Fields Avenue.
At an evening news conference, police Superintendent Michael Harrison described Charles Williams, 25, as a man "who decided to take matters in his own hand and go on a violent spree throughout the city."
Harrison said the mayhem started about 4:25 p.m. when Williams went to a home in the 1900 block of St. Roch Avenue and opened fire at a group of people on the porch, striking three of them.
The chief said that shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute between Williams and a woman who lived at or was associated with the home.
Williams then went to the 1400 block of North Derbigny Street and next shot a person in the face, Harrison said. That victim was in surgery at a hospital.
Williams was then tracked to the 1700 block of Desire Parkway, where he stole a vehicle at gunpoint before returning to St. Roch Avenue. When he arrived back at the scene of the first crime, Harrison said, Williams fired numerous rounds from the carjacked vehicle at officers processing the scene.
One officer suffered a "minor graze wound" to the chest, Harrison said. The officer was being treated for the wound Sunday evening and was "in good condition," Harrison said. He did not identify the officer.
From there, the officers chased Williams at high speed to the 1000 block of North Carrollton Avenue, where he struck another vehicle and flipped the car he had stolen.
Harrison said Williams got out of the car with his firearm but dropped it when confronted by officers and was arrested without incident.
He said Williams may also have hit other vehicles during the police pursuit before crashing.
Harrison said the three people injured in the St. Roch shooting were in stable condition.
Williams was to be booked on multiple shootings and an armed robbery, the chief said.
Harrison said Williams may also have been involved in a homicide that happened just "minutes apart" from the shootings.
In that incident, a man was found shot to death in a car in the 2400 block of Elysian Fields Avenue at 4:24 p.m.
Harrison said police think the man was shot in the head elsewhere but kept on driving until he died and crashed into the rear of a vehicle occupied by two people.
The two people in that vehicle were taken to University Medical Center and were in stable condition, police said.
Police said detectives in several units were working to determine if this shooting was related to the other incidents that happened in the 1900 block of St. Roch Avenue and elsewhere and that were all attributed to Williams.
"It was very close in proximity and timeline," Harrison said. "All these incidents were happening minutes apart."
Harrison said police were able to identify Williams so quickly in connection with the other crimes because he was a "known perpetrator" in the area.
As Harrison updated the media on the "violent crime spree," he praised the NOPD officers involved for their "restraint, professionalism, courage" and "bravery."
"The citizens want us to be very proactive, very engaging," Harrison said. "Here is the evidence of our officers running toward the fire and not away from it."