GRETNA, La. - Unsuspecting drivers were suddenly caught in a barrage of gunfire when a New Orleans man opened fire on his passenger while driving on the West Bank Expressway Saturday afternoon.
Gretna police said Tony Braud, 28, pulled out a machine gun and started shooting at the passenger in his car.
The police say the two were high on mojo, a type of synthetic marijuana, when they got into an argument. Moments later Braud started shooting.
"The Gretna Police Department started receiving 911 calls from motorists on the elevated expressway," says Gretna Deputy Chief of Police Anthony Christiana. "At the same time Gretna police officers, in the vicinity of Stumpf and West Bank Expressway, heard an accident."
According to police, the passenger jumped out of the car and Braud chased after as he continued to shoot. Several of the bullets struck four passing cars, causing a crash.
:Luckily, one of the four drivers hit by the flying bullets was able to maneuver around the accident before calling police.
"One of the vehicles that was passing exited at Lafayette Street into the McDonald's parking lot where they called for assistance because their windows had been shot out," says Christiana.
Christiana says one of the people riding in that car suffered a graze wound from the shooting and was taken to the hospital.
Only one person involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.
"We had multiple people that could have been seriously injured or killed," says Christiana. "We are very fortunate we only had one person with a minor injury and one person with a graze wound."
Gretna police were on the scene within a minute of the shooting and were able to arrest Braud immediately. Officers were also able to recover the gun Braud had tossed over the expressway just moments before they arrived.
However, police have not found the passenger that ran off. Christiana says there were no signs that the passenger was shot while inside the car, but they say it is still unclear if the man was shot while trying to get away.
"We have checked with area hospitals and sent BOLOs (be on the lookout) out to surrounding jurisdictions as well as medical facilities," says Christiana.
Gretna police say Braud is a career criminal, with a lengthy record. Braud is currently on probation. He now faces two counts of aggravated battery, along with some traffic violations and being a felon in possession of a firearm.