Two officers were ambushed in a gun attack on Friday, New Orleans police said, and one was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the face.
The disturbing incident unfolded in the French Quarter about 4:30 p.m. as the weekend Halloween celebration was beginning.
Witnesses said that the shooter was riding in the back of a pedicab and stood up when they approached the police car and shot at least five times into the SUV, according to the Times Picayune. The unnamed officers in the vehicle did not appear to have time to return fire.
Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told reporters that they arrested a suspect within minutes after he tried to run away.
“Two of our officers were ambushed,” said Ferguson. “This is a dark day.”
Police took the injured officer to the hospital instead of waiting for paramedics. Ferguson said the four-year veteran was “in serious but stable condition.”
He also thanked a retired Army veteran who happened to be nearby when the incident unfolded and offered medical assistance to the wounded officer before he was taken to the hospital.
The injured officer was shot under his eye, in his left cheek, with the bullet lodging in his skull. Despite the serious injury, the officer was able to walk into the hospital to seek medical attention.
The second officer, a 16-year veteran, was injured by glass shards during the attack.
Ferguson said that the attack was unprovoked, and that the suspect was experiencing some kind of medical episode when he was taken into custody.