Persons of interest sought in NOPD officer shooting

Cornelius Barthelemy
Cornelius Barthelemy

Security cameras capture a shootout with a NOPD officer working a detail at a Marigny restaurant. The video shows three men driving up in a white Ford Expedition.

Police say 44-year-old Jonathan Smith was sitting in his police car when two of the three suspects approached the car and opened fire, striking Smith. Smith returned fire and struck both men who escaped in an SUV, driven by a third man.

"They just walked to him very casually and when they encountered him, one produced a gun and began firing," said Michael Harrison, Interim Police Chief with the New Orleans Police Department.

Harrison says Smith was working a paid detail outside Gene's Po-boy at the time of the shooting. He was hit three times and fired back. Harrison says a bullet is lodged in his spine

"He was completely responsive to touch and has full mobility last time we saw him," added Harrison. "He appears to be in good spirits. The other bullet entered the upper part of his rear thigh, perhaps fractured his femur."

Gretna Police found two of the three men that authorities say were involved. They were called to the Gretna Park Apartment homes for a medical emergency.

Crews arriving on the scene found one man dead. Police say he was found dead inside a white SUV.

A second man was found in the area, suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso. That man, identified as 34-year-old Cornelius Barthelemy, was taken into police custody. Police say Barthelemy admitted he was involved in the shooting.

Officers say the identity of the deceased is unknown, although Barthelemy tells authorities he went by the name of 'Caesar.'

A third suspect is still at large. Police say the third suspect allegedly goes by the name of 'Renegade.'

Late Sunday evening, hours after the shooting, police released surveillance photos depicting two 'persons of interest' in the shooting. The persons of interest are wearing a light colored white or gray shirt. Officers clarify that the individuals are not suspects in the shootout. Police would like to speak with the individuals and question them.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.