NEW ORLEANS, LA. - Police have identified the officer killed in an early morning shooting as 29-year-old Marcus McNeil, a three-year veteran of the force.
The shooting happened a little after midnight near Tara Lane and Lake Forest Boulevard in New Orleans East.
"This hurts," Superintendent Michael Harrison later said outside of University Medical Center, where McNeil died. "I can't begin to tell you how much this hurts."
McNeil was known as "Milk Dud" by his fellow officers, according to a NOPD newsletter. The article quotes McNeil who said he adopted the nickname after someone he arrested tried to get a rise from him and called him "Milk Dud" because of his bald head.
Harrison said four officers made an "observation" that caused them to hop out of their police vehicles, at which point an unidentified man opened fire and hit McNeil several times.
Ronald Thomas, who lives nearby, said he saw a man fire four shots at the officer.
Harrison said that one or two of the officers returned fire, possibly striking the suspect, who then ran into a nearby apartment. Several officers surrounded the apartment, while others rendered aid to the wounded officer and alerted EMS, who rushed McNeil to UMC.
Police say the shooter later surrendered to police and was brought to UMC.
Harrison identified the suspect arrested for allegedly killing McNeil as 30-year-old Darren Bridges.
Bridges is described as a "career criminal" in court records. His criminal history includes more than a dozen arrests and at least three guilty pleas, going back to 2004.
An Orleans Parish Coroner's Office van leaves UMC escorted by NOPD cars. pic.twitter.com/CG65OdCgh6- Danny Monteverde (@DCMonteverde) October 13, 2017
There was a large police presence at Cypress Parc Apartments near where the shooting happened. The NOPD, Louisiana State Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the scene.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was on the scene and asked for prayers for the officer.
"These are the worst kinds of days for the city," Landrieu said. "We want to keep (the family) in our thoughts and prayers. There were a lot of officers who knew this officer very well. The entire department is in trauma."
McNeil had been assigned the NOPD's 7th District, which is New Orleans East, since 2015.
He is survived by a wife and two children, ages 5 and 2.
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