NEW ORLEANS – Crowds gathered Saturday to honor a New Orleans police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
Officer Marcus McNeil, 29, was assigned to New Orleans' 7th District, and was on routine patrol along with three other officers shortly after midnight earlier this month.
When they exited their vehicle after observing what was described as suspicious behavior, the officers were immediately fired upon by a male suspect, said Superintendent of Police Michael Harrison.
One officer was struck and collapsed at the scene, while one or two officers returned fire, striking the suspect, according to Harrison.
McNeil suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to an area hospital where he passed away, Harrison told reporters outside the hospital.
"We have lost one of our brothers. NOPD grieves this morning," read a tweet on the New Orleans Police Department's Twitter account.
"This hurts, I can't begin to tell you how much this hurts," Harrison said.
He and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu met with McNeil's family.
"These are the worst kind of days for the city," the mayor said. "It strikes at the heart of the city."
McNeil had been on NOPD's force for three years, a statement from the department said. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
The New Orleans Force Investigation Team will investigate the officer-involved shooting, according to department protocol, Harrison said.