A massive manhunt was underway for a man suspected of fatally shooting a New Orleans police officer while he was handcuffed in the back of the cop's patrol car, authorities said.
Officer Daryle Holloway, 46, was killed during a struggle with accused shooter Travis Boys, who smuggled a gun into the cruiser and managed to shoot the officer in the right side of his chest while he was handcuffed, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Tyler Gamble said.
The 22-year veteran of the police force died shortly after 9 a.m., leaving his heartbroken family reeling a day after they had gone shopping for Father’s Day.
“They’re taking it pretty hard,” Holloway’s ex-wife Nicole Holloway said of their three teenagers. “I took my youngest daughter shopping for Father’s Day gifts yesterday. She had all these gifts waiting to give him tomorrow. She made sure her dad was taken care of for tomorrow.”
An electricity pole lies in the street after it was struck by a New Orleans Police Department vehicle, when one officer was shot and killed while transporting a prisoner.
Holloway was taking Boys to Orleans Parish Prison when the flexible perp maneuvered his hands to the front of his body, shot the cop and then busted through the cruiser cage that separates the front and back seats to escape out of the passenger side door, Gamble said.
Boys, 33, fled on foot after the police vehicle crashed into a utility pole near the intersection of Elysian Fields and North Claiborne Aves., sparking a huge search and a $10,000 reward for his capture.
"This is a tragic and very sad day for our police department and for the city of New Orleans," New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison said in a statement. "He will be caught and he will be brought to justice.
”Holloway was excited to retire in a few years, his daughter Cydni Holloway, 16, told the Daily News.
Police and K-9 search the area where a New Orleans police officer was shot and killed.
“He was looking forward to that,” said Cydni, who had just wrapped a Ralph Lauren polo and a bottle of cologne for her father. “He was always there for me. I enjoyed hanging out with him way more than hanging out with my friends.”
The teen held back tears as she recalled the moment her mother was dealt the devastating news.
“I was in the bathroom and I heard her on the phone, and she said, ‘Oh my God. Is it him? Is it him?’” Cydni said. “I’ve been watching ‘Greys Anatomy’ a lot, and there are always miracles. But it didn’t happen here.”
Holloway’s loved ones remembered him as a laid-back but protective father, who worked extra hours to make sure they had everything they needed.
The officer crashed after he was shot, police said.
“He was a good cop, he was a very good person,” his 13-year-old son Dillion Johnson said. “I woke up, my mom was crying, saying my dad had just died. I lost my dad.”
The veteran police officer, who had just started his shift that morning, was tasked with transporting Boys from the department’s 5th District station.
Another officer had arrested Boys earlier for aggravated battery and outstanding warrants.
It’s unclear how Boys managed to pull off the stunt in the cop car, and how his weapon went undetected.
“There’s speculation he was double jointed,” Gamble said, adding that the officer, even though he had been shot, tried to stop the prisoner from escaping. “He didn’t get out of the handcuffs.
He made his way to the front of the car through an opening in the police cage. The officer tried to stop him from leaving the vehicle, but he wasn’t able to because of his injury.”
Boys had a history of escaping custody, court records obtained by the Times-Picayune show. Two convictions in 2005 and 2000 reflect past attempts.
Louisiana authorities are searching for Travis Boys, 33, who allegedly grabbed shot a police officer.
He has pleaded guilty to trying to escape a detective, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy and the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center all while in custody, the Times-Picayune reported.
The city’s mayor said Boys' “despicable, cowardly act represents the lowest of the low.”
“Killing an officer in the line of duty is an attack on our community that will not stand,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement. “We will bring together every law enforcement resource at our disposal to find, capture and prosecute the person for this heinous crime."
The heart and soul of New Orleans is heavy today as our community mourns one of our city’s finest.”