An attorney for a man who was shot by a state trooper early Sunday said her client was a civilian agent with the U.S. Army who was visiting New Orleans, and that he pulled out his gun after feeling threatened by a group of juveniles who were following him.
Meanwhile, the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, or "CID," on Tuesday confirmed that it was investigating after one of its civilian special agents had apparently been shot by a state trooper while the agent was on vacation in the city. The agent is "suspended from all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of the investigation," said a statement from Chris Grey, the CID public affairs chief.
"We take this matter extremely seriously and are closely monitoring the situation," said Grey's statement, which didn't name the agent because he hadn't been booked with a crime.
A State Police spokeswoman declined to comment on the version of events offered by the agent's lawyer, Elizabeth Carpenter, saying the probe into the shooting in the 800 block of Port of New Orleans Place remained ongoing.
A Louisiana State Trooper shot an armed subject early Sunday morning in the 880 block of Port of New Orleans Place, according to a release fro…
Carpenter disclosed her client’s name but requested that it not be published unless he is booked with a crime.
According to Carpenter, her client and his wife had traveled from Kentucky to New Orleans to board a cruise. The couple went to the French Quarter on Saturday night, but the woman went back to their Loyola Avenue hotel while her husband stayed out longer exploring the city.
Carpenter said her client had not been drinking for several hours before the incident and was headed back to the hotel when he got lost and noticed “some young kids following (him) trying to intimidate (him).” Eventually, he decided to turn around and pull out a pistol he had in an ankle holster in an effort to frighten them off, Carpenter said.
That’s when, with no warning, her client was shot in the stomach and the knee, Carpenter said. He ended up at University Medical Center, and his wife received a phone call at the hotel informing her that her husband had been shot.
Carpenter said her client realized had been shot by a state trooper only when investigators arrived with a warrant to swab his cheek for DNA.
Carpenter said she was disgusted that her client, a military veteran who survived multiple combat tours unscathed, was shot by a law enforcement officer while vacationing. She said her client's injuries will prevent him from running in the Boston Marathon.
She also said he would have dropped his weapon if he had been warned before he was shot.
“If you are a federal agent, are you going to point a gun at another law enforcement officer in a threatening manner?” Carpenter said. “Something about this stinks.”
State Police have said little about the shooting, which took place around 3 a.m. on Sunday. A news release said only that a trooper encountered a person with a weapon and then used his service gun to shoot that person in an area along the riverfront.
Troopers haven’t said whether the incident was captured on a body-worn camera. In late 2016, the state agreed to spend more than $5 million equipping troopers with about 1,500 body cameras over the course of five years.
Update, Dec. 4, 2018: State Police identified the agent as Ronald Martin, 44, and said they had obtained a warrant to arrest him on allegations that he pointed a gun at a trooper who then defended himself by shooting Martin. They said they had no evidence that anyone else was in the area at the time.