MARRERO, La. Two New Orleans men died in a shootout and chase with officers after police said they robbed a convenience store in the early morning hours Friday.
One suspect, identified as 25-year-old Terrence Ellis, was shot and killed while in the car, and the other suspect, identified as 21-year-old Tyre Leone, jumped out and over the elevated expressway, falling 34 feet. He died a short while later at the hospital.
According to Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson, the chase and rolling gun battle came after a brazen hold up at the Circle K on Lafayette Street.
'The individual walked into the store with the gun already drawn,' he said. '(He) demanded money from the cashier and she produced money from the register. At that point, he demanded more money and continued with the weapon in the face of the victim.'
Lawson said the officers responded to the robbery call within a few minutes and that they attempted to stop the suspects, who were driving a 1996 Ford Thunderbird. He said the chase reached speeds that exceeded 100 miles per hour and that the suspects fired the first shots.
'Several times the perps tried to cause an accident,' noted Lawson. '(They) tried to cause the officers to collide. The individuals ended up striking the wall of the overhead expressway.'
Lawson said the chase ended near Barataria Blvd.
Colonel John Fortunato of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said the suspect on the passenger's side jumped out of the car and immediately began firing at officers, who fired back.
Gretna Police said the car's driver was killed by a gunshot and the passenger, who wasn't shot, jumped approximately 34 feet off the elevated expressway to his death.
'I think the officers acted appropriately,' said Lawson. They handled themselves in a professional manner.'
None of the officers were injured.