The passenger in a stolen U-Haul complied when a Louisiana police officer ordered her to get out of the vehicle Wednesday, police said.
But as soon as Aliyah Sharrieff, 19, climbed out of the U-Haul at the gas station where it was parked in Slidell, La., the man at the wheel — Ricky Cooper, 32 — started to drive off with the stolen truck, police said in a Facebook post Thursday.
Cooper didn’t go far, though, police said. He simply circled the Murphy Oil parking lot just before 5 p.m., and then accelerated the truck, plowing toward the officer, video shows. It was an attempt to kill the officer, according to Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal.
The officer, afraid for his life, shot at the moving vehicle in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Cooper, police said.
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Cooper narrowly missed both the officer and Sharrieff, who was also in his path, as shown in video recorded by witnesses at the gas station.
“(The officer) gave the suspect plenty of time, plenty of warning to get out — he told the lady back away and all that, and I thought he did the job,” the witness told WWL, which obtained a copy of the video. “Because if I was in that situation, seeing a U-Haul coming for me and putting my life in danger, I would have shot too.”
Then Cooper drove away again, police said — this time heading to a nearby Walmart.
As he tried to flee, though, other police officers managed to box in Cooper, police said. Cooper eventually got out of the stolen vehicle and tried to get away on foot, but was apprehended after a short chase, police said.
Cooper was arrested and faces charges of attempted murder of a peace officer, resisting arrest and possession of a stolen vehicle, police said. Cooper also had a New Orleans warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Sharrieff faces charges of resisting an officer and possession of a stolen vehicle, police said. Both Cooper and Sharrieff are residents of New Orleans.
After his arrest, Cooper received treatment for cuts he sustained when the windshield of the U-Haul truck shattered as he was fleeing, police said.
The officer who fired the shots at Cooper is on administrative leave until an investigation into the shooting is complete, police said. Investigators are still speaking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance and cell phone footage from the scene.
“Any time they answer a call, anything like this could happen,” Chief Fandal said in a video posted on Facebook. “The guy purposely tried to run him over.”