GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Someone opened fire on an undercover officer during a drug investigation. The officer works with the Westbank Major Crime Task Force. He was shot Tuesday behind a business near Claire Avenue and the Westbank Expressway.
Witnesses say at first they didn't know what was going on when they heard loud pops around 3:00 p.m. Tuesday.
"We were sitting in work of course and we heard 'boom, boom, boom, boom,' it sounded like fireworks cause we have a fireworks stand next door," said Karen Chauvin.
What Chauvin really heard was a gun exchange between members of the Westbank Major Crime Task Force and two suspects looking to sell heroin to undercover officers. Gretna Police say this all started when the suspects showed up to the pre-determined location but then apparently got nervous about the deal. Members of the task force decided to bring the suspects to the back of a business on Claire Avenue in an attempt to arrest them, and tried to box in their car.
"The suspect vehicle reversed, ramming the officers vehicle directly behind it," Anthony Christiana, deputy chief of Gretna Police said.
Darryl Johnson, the driver of the black Infiniti, then allegedly tried to run over an officer in front of his car. That officer opened fire. He didn't hit Johnson or his passenger, Darrin Jones, but one of the suspects returned fire.
A bullet hit the officer's tactical body armor and he suffered shrapnel abrasions and lacerations to his arm. Then, other members of the task force fired their weapons.
"Both suspects are hospitalized at a local area hospital," Christiana explained. "One is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the facial area. One with multiple gunshot wounds to the arms, shoulder and neck region."
Residents who live near the crime scene say they're thankful no one else was injured during the shooting and they're glad the task force is focusing it's attention on this neighborhood.
"It's scary, I mean I wouldn't wish this on anybody," said Lori Maorler.
"This isn't the first time we've had a little bit of this going on around here and I think they really do need to clean it up," added Karen Chauvin.
Gretna police say Darryl Johnson and Darrin Jones have extensive criminal histories.
Johnson is currently on probation and parole for several drug charges. Jones is on parole for second degree murder until 2019 and he has outstanding warrants for illegal carrying of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Both men will be charged with multiple felony counts as a result of this incident.