GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - There is an ongoing search in Gonzales for two suspects who ran off during a traffic stop, one of which fired at the officers.
The Gonzales Police Department reported officers pulled over a vehicle "they felt was driving suspiciously" around 2:45 a.m. Officials said the traffic stop was in the Orice Roth area. They said two black men wearing hoodies jumped out and started to run once the vehicle stopped and added one of them fired three shots at the officers. No other description was given.
According to GPD, the suspects were not found after a search of the area, so a perimeter was set up. Officials said because Gonzales Middle is in the area, they contacted school officials and the decision was made to delay the start of school.
Police said they traced the vehicle back to one stolen from St. James Parish and Lt. Steven Nethken with GPD said the vehicle has been connected to a string of vehicle burglaries in St. James Parish. He added the vehicle has been sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for processing. Officials said it is believed the two suspects are part of a recent auto theft ring in St. James Parish and the St. James Parish Sheriff's Office is now assisting with the investigation.
Authorities said the suspects are still at large, but "they are confident the school is not in harm's way." They added a shelter-in-place was lifted at 7:05 a.m.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity is urged to call the Gonzales Police Department at 225-621-8300.
Ascension Parish school officials reported Gonzales Middle School started two hours later than usual Tuesday morning because of the search. According to the Ascension Parish School Board, classes began at 9:23 a.m.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office helped Gonzales police set up the perimeter. The Baton Rouge Police Department provided air patrol for the search, as well as K-9s. The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office also provided K-9s to assist.