NEW ORLEANS — Early Wednesday morning a suspect was arrested in Mid-City after opening fire on a constable and a property manager who were issuing an eviction notice.
The shooting itself happened at the 7800 block of the South Cornet Court in New Orleans East, about 10 miles away from where he was arrested on Iberville Street later that day.
"We have a 53-year-old, six-year officer veteran retired NOPD officer, he's a constable now, sustained a gunshot wound to his left shoulder," NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said. "He is in stable condition. We also have what we believe is a 36-year-old property manager who sustained a gun shot wound to the chest. He is also in a stable condition at this time."
Police say the constable and property manager were issuing an eviction notice Wednesday morning. According to authorities, NOPD doesn't come along unless they're requested.
"Gun fire erupted and we're still trying to determine who discharged and why," Chief Ferguson said.
After the shooting, the suspect fled and an hours-long manhunt began. NOPD, a SWAT team, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, ATF, US Marshalls and FBI agents all worked together.
"[This is] the first time we had something like that to happen during my term in office," First Circuit Court Constable Lambert Boissiere said.
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The constable and the property manager were rushed to University Medical Center and I-10 traffic was halted to make room for the ambulances carrying both victims. Police say both are expected to survive.
"Very fortunate that it wasn't more serious than it is," Boissiere said.
"When you're forcibly going into a unit, you never know what's on the other side of that door," First City Clerk of Court Austin Badon said.
First City Court documents show the tenant was 10 months behind on his $218 monthly rent. Before eviction, a deputy constable serves an eviction notice by physically handing the tenant a piece of paper or posting it on their door.
"The landlord received the judgement in their favor for the tenant to get out and then when the tenant doesn't get out the warrant is issued," Badon said. "Therefore, the deputies show up. In cases like this, they have to forcibly go into the unit."
The deputy constable's job was to get the tenant out.
"It shows how difficult and dangerous law enforcement is," Badon said.
A tenant at the complex says she's knows the constable and that he has children at home that depend on him.
"Kinda messing with everybody because he's very well known in the Hollygrove area," she said. "He's a good guy. Its just getting wicked out here, especially out here in this area of the East. I hate it here."