NEW ORLEANS-- A three-year veteran of the NOPDis hospitalized in intensive care after being shot by a gunman at the Dollar General Store on Poland Avenue and St. Claude Saturday morning.

According to the NOPD, Officer John Passaro was the first of several units to respond to a call of an armed robbery at the location around 7:30 a.m.

Upon arrival, Passaro was not sure if an individual was being held up or if it was a robbery of the store. The NOPDsaid when Passaro entered the store, it appeared to be empty as the suspect had forced employees into the manager's office in an attempt to get them to open the store's safes.

When Passaro called out to identify himself as an officer, the suspect burst out of the office and shot three times, striking Passaro twice, before fleeing.

The NOPDhas released some surveillance photos of the suspect (see above photo).

A perimeter was quickly set up around the area. SWAT team officers, the Canine Unit as well as State Troopers and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office helicopters searched the area for many hours for the suspect, but as of 5 p.m., no arrests had been made, according to the NOPD.

The suspect is described as a light-complexioned, African-American male in his mid to late 30's. He is approximately 5'7' with a slim build. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing a grey hoodie, blue jeans, a blue or blue and white bandana covering the bottom part of his face and sunglasses.

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