NEW ORLEANS – Three of five people wounded recently when a criminal suspect opened fire on police in downtown New Orleans may have been hit by officers shooting back, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said Thursday.
Video that shows the Feb. 17 shootout unfolding from different angles was released Thursday, as Ferguson briefed reporters.
"At no point were our officers firing unless being fired at," Ferguson said.
Ferguson said police fired to save themselves and others as robbery suspect Reginald Bursey pulled a gun and shot at uniformed officers approaching him to question him. Bursey, who continued to fire as he ran, eventually was killed.
"It's clear from this video that this individual needed to be stopped before he could hurt or victimize even more people," Ferguson said.
Detectives investigating two recent armed robberies had spotted Bursey after receiving a tip, Ferguson said. They notified uniformed officers.
Video shows two uniformed officers exiting a marked police car and approaching a man who appears to reach for a weapon as they near. A person behind one officer falls, apparently hit by Bursey's gunfire before Bursey runs, still firing. More people fall after Bursey runs around a corner to escape the uniformed officers and two plain-clothes officers. Police said a state trooper also joined the chase. One uniformed police officer, one plain-clothes officer and a trooper are believed to have fired their weapons, New Orleans media reported.
Ferguson said the investigation was continuing. Local and federal prosecutors and the FBI have reviewed the video and a police department use-of-force review board will review the case.