NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A deputy who was part of a wide-ranging federal crackdown on drugs across New Orleans was shot five times as he and a team tried to serve a warrant at a home Tuesday, police said.
Jefferson Parish sheriff's Deputy Stephen Arnold, 35, was the only person wounded in the incident, authorities said. New Orleans police identified the shooter as Jarvis Hardy, 26, and said in a statement that he had been arrested on an attempted first-degree murder charge as well as narcotics violations.
One of the deputy's wounds was in the neck, and he underwent surgery, Sheriff Newell Normand said. It will be 48 hours before it's clear whether Arnold has neurological damage, Normand said.
"We're praying, praying, praying," Normand said at the hospital.
Two other men who were inside the house during the shooting were being questioned, police spokesman Garry Flot said.
The police later said Hardy was in FBI custody, who did not respond to requests for comment on whether Hardy had a lawyer.
The deputy was part of a sweeping investigation across the Crescent City, designed to crack down on the city's drug trade and the violence associated with it.
Eight drug task force teams had gone out to conduct raids Tuesday morning, said Special Agent Debbie Webber, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration's New Orleans division.
Twelve officers from federal and local agencies were involved with the team where the shooting took place, she said.
The raids were part of a seven-month investigation into drugs, heroin and violent offenses that has resulted in 73 arrests, Webber said.
The DEA led the drug investigation, and the task force also included the FBI and local law-enforcement agencies, she said. Webber said she didn't have information on how many arrests were made Tuesday.
New Orleans has long been one of America's most violent cities. There were signs of hope when the homicide rate fell to a 43-year-low in 2014 but it jumped last year by 10 percent. To combat street crime, local and federal law enforcement agencies have teamed up in recent years to target neighborhood gangs.
Tuesday's shooting happened in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans, along a street that abuts the levee protecting the neighborhood from the Mississippi River. The Lower 9th Ward saw some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The neighborhood has a number of boarded-up houses, but the historic architecture of some homes and the proximity to the levee has attracted new residents who've made some renovations. Residents are often seen jogging or walking their dogs on the levee or visiting the nearby cafe that opened in 2012, a rare sit-down restaurant among mostly corner stores and takeout shops.
Betty Magee lives one street over from where the shooting occurred. She's been in the area since 2001, with the exception of two years when she left after Hurricane Katrina. She said the neighborhood is quiet and nobody bothers her.
"I come and go any time of the day and night," she said.
Albert Greenleaf said he heard about the shooting on the news Tuesday, recognizing the street where his sister lived. He and his wife rushed over and learned she was OK.
"It's normally quiet and peaceful," he said of the area, where he also owns a house.
Associated Press reporters Bill Fuller and Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans and Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to give the proper name Drug Enforcement Administration, not Drug Enforcement Agency.