What began as a "domestic dispute" spiraled into a "violent crime spree" in New Orleans on Sunday, with a 25-year-old man accused of carrying out several shootings before leading police on a high-speed car chase across the city.
New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) says Charles Williams started his rampage at a residence in the 1900 block of St. Roch Avenue, where he opened fire on a group of people sitting outside on the front porch.
Speaking to reporters, NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said Williams, who he described as a black man, shot three people, who were rushed to hospital.
The police chief said the shooting spree appeared to have started due to a "domestic dispute" between Williams and a female, but said investigators had yet to determine what the relationship between the two was.
Next, Harrison said, Williams visited another home about a mile away in the 1400 block of North Derbigny Street, where he shot his fourth victim in the face. That victim underwent surgery on Sunday night.
The 25-year-old then committed an armed carjacking, Harrison said, stealing a car and driving back to the scene of the first shooting, where police had already arrived and were investigating.
Harrison said Williams opened fire once again, this time grazing an officer in the chest. The police chief said the officer was in "good condition" as of Sunday night.
Williams then led police on a high speed car chase "through town," Harrison said, only stopping when he hit another car, causing the vehicle he was driving to flip over. Surrounded by officers, he dropped his weapon and was taken into custody "without incident and without injury," Harrison said.
"Right now he is being charged for multiple armed robberies. He is being charged for multiple shootings in and around the city of New Orleans," Harrison said.
The police chief said the NOPD is to determine whether Williams was also involved in a separate shooting in New Orleans on Sunday, where the victim was shot in the head and succumbed to their injuries.
Harrison said that victim had managed to drive several blocks from the crime scene, but succumbed to their injuries after crashing into a car carrying two other people, who were not seriously injured.
Harrison applauded detectives and officers for their "restraint" after being able to arrest Williams "without incident."
"I can't begin to thank the detectives and the officers for their restraint, for their professionalism, for their courage, for their skill and being able to chase this car through the city with only minor incidents to report," Harrison said.
"The citizens want us to be very proactive and very engaging. Here's the evidence that our officers are running toward the fire and not away from it."
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