-- A New Orleans police officer was found shot dead in his marked patrol car this morning, city officials said.
The shooting was reported around 7 a.m., the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. The victim's car rolled forward and struck a curb after the shooting.
The officer's name has not been released, but the New Orleans police identified the victim as a 45-year-old man who worked as a Housing Authority police officer.
A Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer "Investigates complaints, maintains order, aids individuals, and identifies criminal offenders," according to a summary of the position on hano.org. The officers also perform "unplanned physical tasks which include the restraining of violent individuals, running, climbing fences and responding to EMS and rescue emergencies. Officers must handle gun belts," the summary said.
The officer had been a member of the HANO Police Department since 2013, according to the police press release. The police department declined to comment further.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement: "The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act. Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer's friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time.
"NOPD and HANO will work very closely to identify and arrest those responsible for this heinous assault. NOPD and HANO are part of the same close-knit law enforcement family that puts their lives on the line to protect and serve the people of New Orleans. Never are we more aware of the risk they face every day than we are on terrible days like this."
The New Orleans Police Department is investigating.