NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Housing Authority of New Orleans officer was fatally shot and found dead in his squad car Sunday morning.
According to NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison, the 45-year-old HANO officer was driving in Central City when he was fatally shot. His name is being withheld pending notification of his family.
Police responded to the report from HANO that one of their officers was shot at the location around 7:10 a.m. When NOPD officers arrived, they found the officer dead inside his marked police car. Detectives believe he was shot in the 2300 block of Erato Street and his car continued to roll forward, coming to a stop after striking a curb at the intersection of Freret and Erato.
The officer worked for HANO for two years, according to Harrison, and was working an overtime detail at a construction site when he died. NOPD officers found the body in Central City this morning just before 8 a.m.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu put out a statement on the apparent murder, condemning the shooter's actions.
"The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act," said Landrieu. "Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer's friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time."
Police are still searching for a motive and suspect in the case.
"NOPD and HANO will work very closely to identify and arrest those responsible for this heinous assault," Landrieu said. "NOPD and HANO are part of the same close-knit law enforcement family that puts their lives on the line to protect and serve the people of New Orleans. Never are we more aware of the risk they face every day than we are on terrible days like this."
According to the Housing Authority of New Orleans' website, HANO "employs fully commissioned police officers to maintain the safety and security of HANO families and property. HANO officers work closely with the NOPD and monitor crime cameras in HANO communities." HANO officers have the ability "to make arrests, collect and process evidence, draft police reports, and transport suspects to Central Lock-Up." HANO officers are trained in accordance with the requirements of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
Fox 8 will continue to update this story as it develops.