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MANDEVILLE, La. - A man suspected in more than a half dozen recent armed robberies was apprehended after a high speed chase across the Causeway that ended with officers firing shots the suspect's car near the north end of the span.

The suspect was not hit.

The Causeway was shut down in both directions for several hours during the investigation.

Sheriff Newell Normand said the incident began around 11 p.m. when a 911 call was received about a robbery at the Circle K in the 300 block of Veterans Blvd. that was similar to those committed the night before.

Within minutes of the call, an officer spotted the suspect's Dodge Challenger near Veterans and Causeway. The officer tried to make a stop, but the car pulled off at a high rate of speed onto the northbound Causeway.

Causeway police were notified and they laid out spike strips near the north end of the span. The Challenger rolled over the spikes and came to a stop, at which time Normand said officers approached the vehicle with weapons drawn.

A sheriff's office spokesman said that the Challenger then accelerated toward the officers and several of them opened fire on the vehicle, which came to a stop after striking a Causeway police car.

The suspect, Ranell Joseph of Plaquemine, Louisiana, was not shot, but did sustain injuries in the crash and was taken to University Hospital.

Upon his release Joseph will be charged with one count of robbery and additional charges may follow.

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