The Orleans Parish district attorney plans to pursue the death penalty for a man accused of killing a New Orleans police officer in an exchange of gunfire.
Darren Bridges, arrested on Oct. 13 in connection with the deadly officer shooting, was indicted Thursday by the Orleans Parish grand jury, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in an update.
Bridges is accused of fatally shooting New Orleans Police Officer Marcus McNeil, 29, around 12:13 a.m. Oct. 13 in the 6800 block of Cindy Place in New Orleans East.
“We’re going to do our best to see to it that Mr. Bridges is never in a position to ever hurt anyone else again,” Cannizzaro said.
Investigators said Bridges shot and killed McNeil during in an exchange of gunfire. Bridges was also wounded in the shootout and treated at a hospital.
McNeil got out of his patrol car the morning of the shooting to respond to suspicious behavior by a man identified as Bridges, officials said. Investigators said Bridges pulled out a gun during a struggle with McNeil and began shooting.
The eight-count grand jury indictment unsealed before Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson contains the following charges against Bridges:
– Count 1 – First-degree murder of Marcus McNeil
– Count 2 – Felon in possession of a firearm
– Count 3 – Possession with intent to distribute Buprenorphine
– Count 4 – Possession with intent to distribute cocaine
– Count 5 – Possession with intent to distribute alprazolam
– Count 6 – Possession with intent to distribute tramadol
– Count 7 – Obstruction of justice in a second-degree murder case
– Count 8 – Aggravated assault with a firearm upon a police officer, Stephan Stephano
Johnson set no bond for the first-degree murder charge. She set a $250,000 bond for each of the other seven counts.
Under Louisiana law, the penalty for first-degree murder can be death, Cannizzaro said in Thursday’s statement. He said his office plans to pursue the sentence.
Those who knew McNeil described him as a funny and kind man. He was married and had two young children, ages 5 and 2.
McNeil was a three-year veteran of the police department, assigned since July 2015 to the eastern New Orleans district where he was killed.