|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|NOPD INVESTIGATING OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN CENTRAL CITY|
|NEW ORLEANS, LA—The NOPD Public Integrity Bureau Force Investigation Team is investigating an officer-involved shooting that left a 37-year-old man dead.
The incident happened just before 11:00 p.m. on January 7, 2015 near the intersection of Josephine and LaSalle Streets. Sixth District officers Matthew Bencik and Devin Ashmore observed a Chevrolet Avalanche pick-up truck parked near the intersection with heavy damage to the front of the vehicle and smoke billowing out from under the vehicle’s hood. When the officers approached the vehicle, they observed two men seated in the front of the truck and one woman in the back seat.
After speaking with the individuals and checking their identification, officers asked the 37-year-old driver to step out of the vehicle. Shortly after exiting the vehicle, the driver ran off heading eastbound on Josephine Street. Officers ran after the driver who then fired a gun in the direction of the officers. Officer Bencik returned fire and struck the driver in his hip and torso area. Officers discovered illegal drugs and a semi-automatic handgun near the area where the driver collapsed.
EMS transported the driver to the hospital where he later died. The Coroner will release the identity of the driver after notification of family members and will perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
The other man and woman who were in the vehicle left the scene and are still at-large.
The PIB Force Investigation Team is leading the investigation and is collaborating with the Federal Consent Decree Monitor and the Independent Police Monitor. Officer Bencik was wearing a body worn camera that successfully recorded the incident from the beginning to end. The footage will be made available to the public at the conclusion of the investigation.
Matthew Bencik is a three-year member of the NOPD. Devin Ashmore is an 8-year-member of the NOPD.
Citizens with information about this incident or crime are asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP(7867) or Text your crime tip to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637), Text TELLCS then your crime information. You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible. You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to Crimestoppers at www.crimestoppersgno.org.