Source: Suspected gunman involved in shootout with NOPD was known Houston gang member

Source: Suspected gunman involved in shootout with NOPD was known Houston gang member
Reginald Bursey, 32, is the suspected gunman who started a shootout with police in downtown New Orleans. (Source: Colorado County Crimestoppers)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The gunman involved in a fatal shootout with police that left five innocent bystanders injured Sunday night (Feb. 18), was a known Houston gang member, according to a local law enforcement source.

Reginald Bursey, 32, was wanted on felony armed robbery charges out of Colorado County, Texas, where is is accused of tying two people up and robbing them at gunpoint in Sept. 2018, according to a Crimestroppers’ Facebook post. Bursey also stole the victim’s car to flee the scene, police said, which was later found at a motel in Houston.

Bursey was on parole at the time of the armed robbery, police said. During their investigation, Columbus police learned Bursey has ties to Louisiana as well as Houston’s 59 Piru Street gang. At the time, investigators considered Bursey to be armed and dangerous.

A local law enforcement source confirmed Bursey is the suspect who was fatally shot by police on Tulane Avenue near Elk Street after investigators said he started a shootout with police.

According to preliminary NOPD reports, Bursey started shooting at officers who attempted to question him about two armed robberies that were reported in New Orleans the previous week.

Responding officers fired back at Bursey, police said, which prompted a gunfight between him and law enforcement, during which time five bystanders were struck. As of Monday evening, it was not known whether they were hit by Bursey’s or officers’ bullets.

NOPD said officers chased Bursey as he ran down Elk Street towards Tulane Avenue, where he hit behind a bush in front of the hospital. A responding Louisiana State Police trooper told Bursey to come out, but instead he continued to shoot. The trooper returned fire, according to a preliminary report, striking Bursey. After being disarmed, police said Bursey was brought to University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short while later.

Shaun Ferguson, NOPD superintendent, said the officers involved in the shootout would be put on “desk duty” while investigations into the shootout were completed. State police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said the trooper involved remained on “normal duty,” as of Monday.

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