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Man who was in Hard Rock when it collapsed was killed by deputy after chase in Marrero

He survived the collapse of the Hard Rock building but was killed by a deputy after a chase where police say he pointed a gun at officers. The family has questions.

NEW ORLEANS — A Jefferson Parish family as many questions about a deadly police shooting that took the life of their loved one.

The shooting happened last night in the 500 block of Eiseman Avenue in Marrero. Jefferson Parish investigators say following a chase, the suspect pointed a gun at a deputy, which prompted the deputy to open fire. 

The family of Modesto Reyes came to see where the 35-year-old welder and aspiring rapper lost his life in a police shooting. Librada Turner is Reyes’ sister.

“If only I could turn back the hands of time, and that’s for anyone that’s lost a loved one. I don’t care who it is, I wish he was still here.”

This all stemmed from a police chase that started near the intersection of Ames Boulevard and West Bank Expressway. Deputies say around 10:30 last night, they tried to pull Reyes over. That’s when they took off.”

Friends said they saw two police cars got right behind him.

Mallory McGee is a friend and fellow musician. She said she was standing near the intersection where the chase happened.

“He made a right, and I saw the cops cut their light on. And his car accelerated a little. After that, I saw multiple police cars speeding down the street.”

Sheriff Joe Lopinto said the car chase lasted only a few blocks, and Reyes eventually bailed out of his pick up truck and started running with two deputies behind him. The chase got near the 500 block of Eiseman Avenue.

“The suspect actually tripped on the ground,” Lopinto said. “As they approached, he came up with one gun; he was actually in possession of two firearms at the period of time — pointed at one of our deputies — one of our deputies ended up firing several shots striking the individual who was later pronounced dead here on the scene.”

Reyes’ family has serious questions about the sheriff’s account.

“I do believe he would never point a gun at someone,” Turner said. “He’s not violent like that.”

They acknowledge his criminal history which includes drug and gun charges but say he was trying to rebuild his life and career.

The family said Reyes was working in the Hard Rock Construction site when it collapsed last year, and with the recent deaths of black men in Georgia and Minnesota, family and friends say the loss of Reyes feels even heavier.

Regardless of his background, his drug criminal activity — that doesn’t give the officers the right to kill somebody,” they said.

What started as a traffic stop ended in a deadly shooting. authorities say Reyes presented a danger, but his family said the true danger was chasing him.

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