NEW ORLEANS — A federal law enforcement officer shot by a state trooper over the weekend faces an aggravated assault charge when he gets out of the hospital, Louisiana State Police said in a news release.
Ronald Martin, 44, of Fort Knox, Kentucky, was shot early Sunday. State police said he had pointed a handgun at a uniformed trooper who had repeatedly identified himself as a law enforcement officer.
Martin's lawyer, Elizabeth Carpenter, said Martin never heard a warning and didn't realize he'd been shot by a trooper until investigators showed up later at his hotel.
She said Martin, a veteran and an agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Command, would never have disobeyed a command to put down his weapon from a fellow law enforcement officer. "My client would have immediately put the weapon down," she told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Carpenter said Martin and his wife were in New Orleans for a trip on a cruise ship. His wife had gone back to their hotel Saturday evening but Martin stayed in the French Quarter until deciding to walk back to the hotel, in the city's Central Business District, hours later, Carpenter said.
She said he pulled a gun from an ankle holster because he was being followed by a group of juveniles. He turned to see where they were and to scare them away by showing he had a gun. "The last thing he remembers is that he was shot," she said.
She said he was recovering well after surgeons removed a bullet from his abdomen.
"Detectives suspect that Martin was impaired and found no evidence of other individuals near the area at the time of the incident," the Tuesday state police release said.
Carpenter raised doubts as to whether Martin was impaired, but added, "even if he were impaired, you're still going to hear someone say, 'put the gun down.'"