Army agent on vacation in New Orleans shot, wounded by state trooper, attorney says

By RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS | The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate | Published: December 4, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (Tribune News Serevice) — A civilian agent with the U.S. Army who was visiting New Orleans had pulled a gun out on a group of young people by whom he felt threatened when a nearby state trooper shot him twice early Sunday, an attorney representing the wounded man said Monday.

A State Police spokeswoman declined to comment on the version of events offered by lawyer Elizabeth Carpenter, saying the unidentified trooper’s shooting of an armed man in the 800 block of Port of New Orleans Place about 3 a.m. Sunday remained under investigation.

Carpenter disclosed her client’s name in an interview with The Advocate on Monday night but requested that it not be published unless he is booked with a crime.

NOLA.com, which first reported the attorney’s remarks, reported Monday that the Army had confirmed Carpenter’s client is a civilian special agent with its Criminal Investigation Command.

According to Carpenter, her client and his wife had come to New Orleans from Kentucky to leave for a cruise. They had gone out together in the French Quarter on Saturday night. She went back to their hotel on Loyola Avenue and he stayed out longer, exploring the city.

Carpenter said her client had stopped drinking for several hours and was headed back to the hotel when he got lost and noticed “some young kids following (him) trying to intimidate (him).” Eventually, he decided to turn around and pull out a pistol he had in an ankle holster in an effort to frighten them off, Carpenter said.

That’s when, with no warning, the man was shot in the stomach and the knee, Carpenter said. He ended up at University Medical Center, and his wife received a phone call at the hotel informing her that her husband had been shot.

Carpenter said her client and his wife realized he had been shot by one of the troopers who help New Orleans police patrol the Central Business District and surrounding areas when investigators arrived with a warrant to swab the wounded man’s cheek for DNA.

Carpenter said she was disgusted that her client, a military veteran, had been physically unscathed during multiple combat tours but was then shot by a law enforcement officer while vacationing in New Orleans. She said the shooting will cost her client the chance to run in the next Boston Marathon, for which he has been training.

She also said he would have dropped his weapon if he had been warned before he was shot.

“If you are a federal agent, are you going to point a gun at another law enforcement officer in a threatening manner?” Carpenter said. “Something about this stinks.”

State Police have said little about Sunday morning’s shooting. A news release said only that a trooper encountered a person with a weapon and then used his service gun to shoot that person.

Troopers haven’t said whether the incident was captured on a body-worn camera. In late 2016, the state agreed to spend more than $5 million equipping troopers with about 1,500 body cameras over the course of five years.

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