NEW ORLEANS – The suspect in last month's shooting of a New Orleans police officer was indicted on Thursday for first-degree murder.
A grand jury indicted Darren Bridges, 30, of New Orleans, in the fatal shooting of Officer Marcus McNeil during a struggle, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office said. McNeil, a three-year veteran, was shot after his patrol team left their cars to investigate something suspicious shortly after midnight on Oct. 13.
Cannizzaro, in a news release, said his office will pursue the death penalty.
"From everything I know of Officer McNeil, he seemed to be very well-respected and admired by his fellow officers," Cannizzaro said. "We're going to do our best to see to it that Mr. Bridges is never in a position to ever hurt anyone else again."
Bridges also was charged with seven other counts, including obstruction of justice in a second-degree murder case and aggravated assault with a firearm upon a police officer. A judge denied bail on the first-degree murder charge and set a $250,000 bond on each of the other counts.
Court records did not indicate if Bridges is represented by an attorney.
Bridges had been sentenced to 6½ years in 2012 for attempted possession of a firearm by a felon. He left prison in May 2015 on "good-time" release, according to the state Department of Corrections, The Advocate reported.
He has previous battery and marijuana convictions, all in New Orleans, Ken Pastorick, a department spokesman said after the shooting. Pastorick said he was out on parole on the battery charge when he was arrested in 2011 in the weapons case. Online court records show he was originally arrested on charges of illegally carrying a weapon and possessing a weapon after a felony conviction.
Pastorick said parole supervision on the weapons charge would have ended in June "had all this not happened."
McNeil was the fifth New Orleans Police Department officer to die in the line of duty over the past four years. Two were shot and three hit by cars.
A police officer for the city's public housing agency also was shot to death during that period.