The Jefferson Parish sheriff announced arrests Wednesday after two men, one armed with what victims described as an assault-type rifle, robbed a Metairie clothing store earlier in the day.
Based on detective work and tips from the public, Interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto said one of the wanted suspects was traced to a home in St. John the Baptist Parish. U.S. Marshals and St. John deputies went to the home, where they saw three subjects get into a black Infinity.
Law enforcement chased the Infinity to Interstate 10 and US 51, where traffic had slowed because of an accident. In an effort to escape, the Infinity drove onto the shoulder and rear-ended an 18-wheeler. All three subjects then bailed out of the car and jumped over the railing, Lopinto said.
One subject fell and was taken to the hospital, where he died. Two others were arrested. It is unclear if the dead man was one of the robbery suspects. Lopinto said more information would be released Thursday.
At the time of the clothing store robbery - about 10 a.m. - two employees and one customer were inside Jeff’s Haberdashery in the 3300 block of Severn. One of the victims, who did not want to be identified, said the suspects instructed them to lie face down and then took merchandise including shirts, pants and shoes before leaving in a vehicle. He said they did not take cash.
He said one of the suspects pointed a rifle at him.
"I don't care about anything in here enough to be shot over," he said, "It was kind of like the movies where you know, everybody be calm and everybody’s going to go home to their families. I was here for what felt like a longer time, but probably in reality a minute and a half two minutes and fled in that car and was gone."