Moments before a volunteer New Orleans police officer shot an armed man in Gentilly, he witnessed a shootout between that man and another person who remained at large Wednesday, the Police Department said. 

Police identified the reserve officer as Jimmy Slack, who retired from the force in 2016 after 35 years on the job. The wounded man, Eric Rogers, 29, was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

Suspect said to have refused order to drop weapon

A statement from Police Department spokesman Gary Scheets said Slack was working as a private security guard for an entity in the 1400 block of Milton Street on Tuesday night when he heard gunshots near a business in the 3800 block of St. Bernard Avenue and saw two men exchanging fire. As Rogers moved from the business’ front parking lot onto St. Bernard Avenue, Slack told investigators, he “announced his presence, identified himself and ordered” Rogers to drop the gun.

“Rogers did not comply and continued running east across the southbound lanes of Saint Bernard Avenue. At that time, Office Slack fired at Rogers from his NOPD assigned duty weapon, striking the subject once, inflicting a graze wound.”

Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said Tuesday night that Rogers pointed his gun at the officer before Slack shot him. The Police Department statement on Wednesday did not mention this. When asked about Ferguson’s remark, Scheets said Wednesday night it was “preliminary information received on the scene” and was still under investigation. 

The statement said Slack was wearing his police uniform, and that a weapon was found on the ground near where Rogers fell.

Rogers is to be booked with aggravated assault with a gun and possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Police said the gun found near him had been reported stolen in Jefferson Parish.

The person with whom Rogers was allegedly exchanging gunfire remained at large Wednesday, police said. They did not identify the person but said anyone with information on the crime may call Crimestoppers Inc. at (504) 822-1111 or (877) 903-7867.

Also injured in the gunplay was a motorist driving through the area at the time of the shooting. He was slightly hurt when a projectile from a gun struck glass on his car. He went to the Veterans Administration Medical Center for treatment. 

Police said Slack was not wearing a camera on his uniform. Officers are not required to do so when working private security jobs.

However, the Police Department’s force investigation team has obtained video recording from the scene, police said.

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