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Port Barre Police chase car into Opelousas; shots fired

shooting
Posted at 10:01 PM, Nov 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 23:24:00-05

What started as a traffic stop on U.S. 190 in Port Barre ended with a chase through two cities and gunfire.

Port Barre Police Chief Deon Boudreaux said his officers tried to stop a blue, older-model Buick that was speeding. The vehicle wouldn't stop, and gunfire erupted from inside the vehicle, he said.

The Port Barre officers chased the vehicle into Opelousas, with the occupants firing at officers and vehicles that wouldn't get out of their way fast enough, he said.

In Opelousas, the passenger bailed out on Artigue Street and fled on foot, Boudreaux said.

The driver continued firing at officers through his back window, but never hit anyone, Boudreaux said. The Buick was last seen near the intersection of Court and Cherry streets in Opelousas, he said.

Boudreaux said his officers were aided by Opelousas officers when the chase entered that city.

The vehicle had a Louisiana plate, but when officers ran the number it was for a different vehicle. Boudreaux said switched plates often indicate a stolen car, or a driver with warrants, or someone transporting contraband, such as drugs.

The shooters never hit any officer, or any police unit, he said. They did manage to hit at least two civilian vehicles, but no one was hurt, he said.

"They seemed to be shooting at random vehicles, trying to get them out of their way," Boudreaux said. "And they were shooting at the officers, trying to get them to back off."

Investigators found spent cartridges that appeared to be .223 caliber. The weapon officers saw appeared to be an AR-15 style gun, the chief said.

The vehicle should have some bullet holes in the back glass, he said. Both occupants of the vehicle were male, he said.

If anyone has information about the vehicle or the incident, they are asked to call 911 to report it right away. Boudreaux said no one should approach these subjects.

"We're asking if anyone hears or sees anyone talking about this, or knows about this car, call us immediately," he said. "Don't approach them. They're armed and dangerous. Let us handle it."

Boudreaux said he can't remember an incident like this ever happening in his town.

"I'm so glad none of the officers got hurt, and no citizens got hurt, thank God for that," he said. "As long as I've been here I don't think we've ever had anyone shoot at the police."

KATC's Chris Welty will have the latest on this story at 10 p.m.