Dramatic surveillance footage shows what happened when state trooper shot man
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Dramatic surveillance video shows what happened when a Louisiana State Trooper shot a man driving the wrong way down Bourbon Street. It happened Thursday night and witnesses say they’re thankful troopers were there to stop the man.
Robbie Orgeron of Felix’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street says thank goodness the troopers moved the street performers because it was just three minutes later when surveillance cameras captured a grey Kia Forte driving the wrong way down Bourbon Street.
“The troopers had just moved the drummers and told them to move on down,” says Orgeron. “The little grey car comes down and you see the trooper just standing in front of it, holding it and telling him to stop and the guy just kept going.”
State Police say they were telling the driver to stop, but he refused. Instead, he appears to accelerate. The trooper frantically held on to the side of the car while reaching for his gun.
“The one State Trooper is just literally running backwards and hitting the front of windshield and when he realized he was going to hit people. That’s when he drew and he shot through the side window,” says Orgeron.
State Police says the trooper shot once, striking the driver in the upper torso.
“When they shot him, if he wouldn’t have hit the barricades, he would have kept going,” says Orgeron.
Pedestrians were running to get out of the way and the driver didn’t come to a stop until he hit two bollards on Bourbon Street and narrowly missed a woman.
“I thought that he was going to hit some people, and we hear the pop of the gun and the window shattered. We saw that the officer had to actually shoot to stop this guy,” said witness Michael Bedokis.
Witnesses told FOX 8 Bourbon Street was crowded at the time.
“He could have hit anybody,” says Bedokis.
State Police say it all started when troopers assigned to the French Quarter were helping to deploy traffic bollards. They say the driver made an illegal turn onto Bourbon from Bienville and refused to stop.
“My wife and I were probably about 10 feet from being hit by this car, so if cops wouldn’t have done what they did, someone would have been hurt or killed,” says Bedokis.
Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer released a statement saying, "My heart goes out to the victim who was shot at a daiquiri bar where she worked. The recent violence on Bourbon Street is unacceptable, as it would be in any neighborhood in New Orleans. We have to allow law enforcement the time and space to thoroughly investigate and hold the perpetrators accountable.
The French Quarter is a unique area of the City where within one square mile, more than 300 establishments sell alcohol. It is imperative we have smart strategies in place to streamline services and funding to ensure officers have the resources they need to keep our City safe. My office has been working on efforts to analyze and redirect existing revenues to ensure this happens and I look forward to working with the administration to implement the types of changes which will minimize violence in the French Quarter."
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