SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Police say a man killed in a police-involved shooting late Wednesday afternoon in West Shreveport had committed an armed robbery and shot someone before leading state, local, and parish law enforcement on a high-speed chase.
Dozens of officers from the Shreveport Police Department and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office were involved with the pursuit, along with a Louisiana State Police Trooper.
According to Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, three CPSO units were called to a location on North Market around 5:30 p.m. for a report of a distraught man threatening to shoot himself and others. The man took off in a white Suburban when the deputies arrived.
At the time, Prator says they could not stop him because they “thought he was just threatening suicide and said he didn’t have a gun held his hands up and took off.”
They also did not know at that time that he had been involved in an armed robbery about an hour earlier in Shreveport. When that became clear, all three agencies coordinated in efforts to stop the man, who reportedly was firing out the window of the SUV at points during the pursuit.
The chase lasted 30 to 45 minutes, according to Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator. It ended on Jewella Ave. just north of Greenwood Road when officers from all three agencies opened fire at once, although it is not yet clear whether it was prompted by the man brandishing a weapon.
“It started and was over with within six or seven seconds.”
Prator says that happened after Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond gave the go ahead and “shut the vehicle down” due to the danger the man was posing to the public.
“At that point, we all made the decision, whatever it takes, because this guy was shooting out of the vehicle at people once during the chase. He was going excessive speeds, he had already shot somebody, he had already robbed somebody and we considered it to be somewhat like an active shooter at this point.”
In an impromptu briefing an hour after the fatal shooting, Chief Raymond and Louisiana State Police Tpr. Glenn Younger emphasized that there were multiple attempts to stop the SUV using other methods, including spike strips that did blow out the tires on the vehicle but failed to stop it.
Police have not released details on the armed robbery they say the man committed before the chase, and there is no word on the name or condition of the person police say he shot.
Chief Raymond says it will be a joint investigation with all agencies involved.
And while Prator said he believes that investigation will find that officers handled the situation appropriately, it’s still an unfortunate situation.
“It’s unfortunate and I’m sorry for his family and all that, but I’m also sorry for the man that got shot, I’m sorry for he people that got shot at, the people that got robbed, and I’m sorry for deputies that had to do this. Nobody wants to shoot somebody. And this will haunt them the rest of their lives to have had to do this.”