Gene Theriot says it was a nerve-wracking moment.
On Tuesday, he went to the hospital to check on NOPD Officer Jonathan Smith, who was shot and severely injured early Sunday while working a paid detail outside Theriot's business, Gene's Po-Boys.
"You know, you're walking down the hallway, you don't know what to expect," he said. "My nerves still were on edge and then when I turned and saw how [Smith] looked, it was really good to see that it was the same guy that used to watch over my place."
Now, more details are surfacing about the hours leading up to the attack on Smith.
According to a police report obtained by our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Cornelius Barthelemy, a suspect in the shooting, had a run-in with Jefferson Parish deputies Saturday evening.
The report shows that deputies went to Barthelemy's house in Marrero because of a domestic dispute between Barthelemy and his child's mother. Ultimately, deputies left without making an arrest because they didn't see evidence of any crime, NOLA.com reported.
Just a few hours later, and minutes before the shooting outside Gene's Poboys, New Orleans police believe Barthelemy and suspect James Wilson shot a man as he left a house party on Annette Street.
Shortly after, surveillance video shows two men - one of them believed to be Barthelemy - walking up to the poboy restaurant, and moments later, stumbling away.
Police accuse the men of opening fire on Officer Smith, who is believed to have returned eight shots – wounding the suspects.
Now, several days later, Theriot says he's encouraged by his recent visit to the wounded officer.
"It was very emotional for me, but I held it together," Theriot said. "[Smith is] a very spiritual type person and very strong and that's really what kept him going, even out here when he was on the ground, he was trying to protect everybody. He's just a real nice guy."
On Wednesday, police booked Barthelemy and James Wilson in the shooting that injured the man on Annette Street. Barthelemy and Wilson face first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges in connection with the attack on Officer Smith.