BATON ROUGE, La. -- Two Baton Rouge Police Department officers were shot and wounded late Friday when they and a third officer confronted a man in a Hanks Drive apartment after pursuing him during a high-speed car chase, authorities said.
At least one of the officers - including a six-year veteran of the force struck by a bullet in the right forearm and a 10-year veteran hit by a bullet in the abdomen - returned fire at the man inside the apartment, hitting him multiple times, Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Cpl. L'Jean McKneely said. All three injured men were then taken by Emergency Medical Services to area hospitals.
The officer shot in the abdomen went through surgery early Saturday and was listed in fair condition in intensive care at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, McKneely said. The officer shot in the arm was treated at Our Lady of the Lake and then released, while the suspect was admitted to LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center.
The names of the officers involved were not released Saturday by the Police Department because of its policy to wait 24 hours after an officer-involved shooting, but East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks identified the man as Christopher Joseph Johnson, 27, of 6515 Hanks Drive.
Deputies do not know when Johnson, who was shot four times - two of them superficial wounds - would be released from the hospital, Hicks said.
Upon his release, she said, Johnson would be booked into Parish Prison on three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and one count each of fleeing to elude and felon in possession of a firearm.
Court and police records show Johnson, who pleaded guilty in 1999 to armed robbery and was sentenced to eight years in Parish Prison, also had an outstanding warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police Chief Jeff LeDuff, contacted Saturday afternoon, said he would not comment until Monday as the Sheriff's Office continues its investigation into the incident.
Following protocol in shootings involving officers, the Police Department asked the Sheriff's Office to investigate the incident.
LeDuff and other Police Department officials were at the hospital all Saturday morning while the 10-year veteran went through surgery, police spokesman Sgt. Don Kelly said. Another surgery on the officer was scheduled for late Saturday.
Following Police Department policy, Kelly said, the names and ranks of the officers would not be released until 24 hours after the incident.
Kelly said the Police Department is tentatively scheduling a press conference for Monday to discuss the incident, citing the investigation and the officers' condition.
"Our focus is on the officers and their families right now," Kelly said.
The 10-year veteran and the six-year veteran - one of whom was patrolling with a Police Department trainee - were in north Baton Rouge when
one of the veterans tried to stop a vehicle in the 5500 block of Evangeline Street for a traffic violation at 11:28 p.m., McKneely said. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop, fleeing east on Evangeline at high speeds, officers said.
The second veteran officer joined the chase, which trailed the fleeing man less than a mile to Suburban Apartments, 6515 Hanks Drive, McKneely said. The driver - identified as Johnson - bailed out of a vehicle and was followed on foot into a nearby apartment.
When the officers confronted Johnson inside the apartment at 11:35 p.m., McKneely said, he is accused of opening fire at the officers, who returned gunfire.
The officers were wearing Police Department-issued bulletproof vests, McKneely said, but the 10-year veteran was struck below the area protected by the vest.
Additional information - such as the nature of the traffic stop, whether anyone else was in the apartment and how many officers returned fire - was not made public Saturday.
The incident was the second shooting this week involving law enforcement officers in East Baton Rouge Parish.
On Thursday, an undercover sheriff's deputy shot Alvin Davis, 24, at Myrtle Place Apartments, 1718 Boulevard de Province, police have said. A bullet grazed Davis' head and another hit him in the leg after he pointed a gun at two deputies who were conducting a narcotics investigation.
Davis was released from the hospital and booked into Parish Prison on Friday afternoon on two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, and one count of possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and resisting an officer.
The Police Department is conducting the investigation into the Davis shooting and did not release the name of the deputy because he is assigned to undercover investigations.