New Orleans Police arrested a gunman minutes after he robbed a Mid-city bank and then opened fire on an officer who was pursuing him in a chase. Luckily, the officer was not harmed.
Just after 9 this morning, 53-year-old Walter Russell held a teller at gunpoint and demanded money at a bank in the 3300-block of Canal Street. Once the teller complied, Russell fled the bank and Officer Ron Howard, who was working an off-duty detail at the bank, took off after him and radioed for back-up. During the chase, Russell fired at Officer Howard, and missed. Officer Howard did not return fire, as there were bystanders who could have been hurt. NOPD quickly set up a perimeter with responding units and as the Canine Unit searched for Russell, he was finally apprehended in the 200 block of South Clark Street without incident.
Police found Russell’s clothing, the gun that he used in the robbery and the money that he had stolen from the bank hidden underneath a house in the 200 block of South Clark Street.
Russell was not injured in the incident but was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Task Force, New Orleans Division will be the primary investigating agency in the incident. Russell will be booked into Saint Bernard Jail after being released from the hospital and will have his initial appearance tomorrow in front of a Federal Magistrate Judge.
Russell will be booked with Armed Robbery, Attempted Murder of a Police Officer and other charges.
Walter Russell was previously arrested for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon, First Degree Robbery, Armed Robbery, Several Burglaries, Several Simple Robberies, Purse Snatching, Possession Felony, Aggravated Burglary, Resisting A police Officer, Contribution to the Delinquency of a Juvenile, False Personating, Receiving Stolen Things, Several Trespassing, Theft, Theft over $500.00, Criminal Mischief and Loitering.
“The arrest of this suspect was the result of calculated and well-executed police work. Officer Howard was on top of the situation from the start, and exercised wise judgment in not returning fire, as it could have put the public at risk”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
“Other responding officers who quickly set up the perimeter and got Canine on the scene did an outstanding job as well. This was really police work at its best”.