Police chase ends in gunfire, arrest

A routine traffic stop Thursday night took a dangerous turn after a New Orleans police officer fired at the passenger of a vehicle that crashed following a brief police chase.

A police spokesman said the officer fired when the passenger reached for a gun but that the bullet did not hit anyone.

Around 6:30 p.m., New Orleans police officers stopped a black Chevrolet Impala in the 2100 block of Iberville Street that apparently committed dozens of traffic violations, said Frank B. Robertson, a New Orleans police spokesman.

When police tried to pull the car over, the driver ran a stop sign and collided with an oncoming Ford truck at Iberville and North Miro streets, Robertson said.

One of the car’s passengers reached for a gun when officers approached the car following the collision, Robertson said, prompting one of the officers to fire his weapon.

The bullet missed the passenger, Robertson said. Police detained both the driver and the passenger of the car.

The driver of the truck was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, but no one else was injured in the incident, Robertson said.

Police have arrested the passenger in the Impala who was accused of reaching for a gun, but the car’s driver remains on the loose, Robertson said.

The incident will be investigated by the Public Integrity Bureau and the Independent Police Monitor.

This story was updated Aug. 16, 2013. The original version stated that the driver ran away, but police detained both the driver and the passenger of the car.