Third suspect in officer shooting surrenders

A third suspect in Sunday's shooting of a New Orleans police officer turned himself in Monday.

James Wilson, who also goes by the nickname "Renegade," surrendered to Plaquemines Parish deputies. He was booked with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.

"It's just incredible. I'm still in shock that something like that would happen," said Eugene Theriot.

The owner of Gene's Po-Boys at Elysian Fields and St. Claude wants answers.

NOPD Officer Jonathan Smith, 44, was working a paid detail at the business early Sunday morning when police said 34-year-old Cornelius Barthelemy and another man, known to police as "Ceasar" walked up.

"They just walked up to him very casually, and when they encountered him, one produced a gun and began firing," said Police Chief Michael Harrison.

Surveillance cameras outside the shop captured the shootout. Theriot said his 24-hour business was packed at the time.

"We had a whole lobby full of people. Most of them went running in the opposite direction. As they saw the coast was clear, they came running out to check on the officer," Theriot said.

Police said the officer was hit twice. Court documents indicate one bullet struck his right leg and the other hit his lower back, becoming lodged in his spine.

According to a warrant obtained by FOX 8, Smith returned fire, firing eight shots at the perpetrators before they jumped into a white Ford Expedition and took off.

The vehicle was later located at an apartment complex on Gretna Boulevard. Barthelemy had a gunshot wound to the torso. His alleged accomplice was found dead in the SUV. He had also been shot.

"It's just a senseless crime, and hopefully they find out what the real reason is behind this," Theriot said.

Barthelemy was booked with one count of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. During his first appearance in court, a prosecutor indicated the men were trying to rob Gene's Po-Boys when they opened fire on the officer.

"He was always was alert. He was a person that watches everything. He was there to protect us and that's what he did," said cashier Pam Francis.

Barthelemy remains jailed without bond.

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