A National Guardsman shot and killed a man who threw a piece of broken glass at a group on patrol and later pointed a BB gun that officers mistook for a rifle, police said.
Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting, but the guardsman, whose name was not released, appears to have acted appropriately, said Sgt. Joe Narcisse, a police spokesman.
The dead man did not carry identification, Narcisse said. Family members identified him as 53-year-old Terry Burton.
The National Guard members saw the man at about 1 a.m. holding a hacksaw while riding a bicycle through an area that remains largely vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
The Guard has been patrolling less populated areas of the city since June to allow the depleted police force to concentrate on areas where people have returned since the hurricane.
The guard wanted to check him out because thefts of copper pipe are common, National Guard spokesman Col. Pete Schneider said.
“As the guardsmen approached the man, he produced a knife, threatening the military men and then threw a piece of broken glass at them, cutting a sergeant’s arm,” Narcisse said in a news release.
The man ran into a rundown house, he said. When police and guardsmen entered the house and approached the man, he pointed a BB gun that looked like a rifle at them, officials said. A Guardsman shot the man several times, police said.
The guardsman who shot the man is a 10-year military police veteran, Schneider said. He was removed from patrol duties, Schneider said.
This was the second shooting by the guard since it returned to the city in June. The first was not fatal, Schneider said.