KENNER, Louisiana — Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said Monday he believes the fatal, officer-involved shooting of a suspect last week was justified.
"I feel the officer acted accordingly," Caraway said. "When you look at the circumstances here, he's fortunate that he wasn't hurt or killed himself."
The Times-Picayune reports (bit.ly/HNUEDl) Don White, 25, of New Orleans, died Sunday evening when doctors at LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans took him off life support.
Police aren't identifying the officer, who authorities say opened fire when White tried to run over the officer in a stolen vehicle. Caraway said only that he is a veteran patrol officer who has been with the department for at least five years.
The shooting occurred just after 7 p.m. Friday. The officer was responding to a report of a stolen car spotted entering the city by one of the department's license-plate recognition cameras.
The officer found the stolen car Friday in a dark alleyway, Caraway said.
"He walked around the vehicle and didn't see anything, initially," Caraway said. But when the officer walked to the front of the car to find a vehicle identification number, he spotted movement inside.
"There was a subject, Don White, lying across the front seat of the vehicle," Caraway said.
The officer was standing in front of the car and ordered the suspect to show his hands and get out of the vehicle. Caraway said the officer had his gun drawn.
But instead of a suspect emerging from the car, the officer saw the vehicle's taillights illuminate the alleyway "As the vehicle proceeded towards him, he fired one shot," Caraway said.
The bullet struck White in the head.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com