(Reuters) - A suspect shot and killed a New Orleans police officer who was transporting him to jail on Saturday, officials said, adding that a manhunt was underway for the suspect who escaped the police vehicle, which crashed into a utility pole.
It remained unclear how exactly Officer Daryle Holloway, 45, was killed, but police said they were seeking Travis Boys, the suspect who had been handcuffed when Holloway began driving.
Holloway, a 22-year New Orleans police veteran, was found with a gunshot wound in his department vehicle after it crashed, police said in a statement.
Boys, 33, was missing from the car, police said.
“According to the initial investigation, Boys shot Officer Holloway from within the vehicle during the transport. After the vehicle crashed, Boys fled the scene,” the statement said.
Boys had been handcuffed with his hands behind his back but was apparently double jointed in his shoulders and able to get his arms to the front of his body, police superintendent Michael Harrison told a news conference.
It was unclear where Boys got the gun, but the officer’s service weapon was not used and was still in its holster, Harrison said.
Holloway, 45, was not the arresting officer, police said.
Boys had been arrested on charges of aggravated battery and outstanding warrants and was being transported to central lockup at the Orleans Parish Prison when the shooting occurred.
New Orleans police, assisted by state law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service, fanned out from the crash site looking for Boys, police added.
“This despicable, cowardly act represents the lowest of the low,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement. “Killing an officer in the line of duty is an attack on our community that will not stand.”
Harrison described Holloway as a personal friend and a “very experienced officer.”
“Officer Holloway put up a fight to try and get this subject to not exit the vehicle, but succumbed to his injuries,” Harrison said.
Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle,; Editing by Richard Chang and David Gregorio