Exclusive: Pizza driver robbed at gunpoint tells story
GONZALES - Tonight, the pizza delivery driver police said was robbed in Gonzales shared with News 2 what happened before officers shot the suspect.
"It was kind of surreal," said Louis Wright, who was robbed at gunpoint Sunday night. "I thought someone was playing a joke on me, basically is what I thought it was, and I gave him money and stuff and he took off."
Wright had just returned from a delivery when police said Daniel West, 33, jumped out of hiding, stuck a gun in his face and demanded his money and keys.
"I turned around and I saw the guy with the gun coming toward me, and he said gimme the keys to the car," Wright said, "so I gave him the keys and he said give me the money also, and after that I kind of backed off and he got in my car and took off, went toward the back of the store."
Police said West then led officers on a high-speed chase through Gonzales until the stolen car hit a spike strip and blew all four tires. They said that's when West took off on foot through an apartment complex.
"Officers gave chase, through the apartment complex, over fences and under fences," said Sgt. Steven Nethken with the Gonzales Police Department.
Police chased West until he was cornered, that's when they said he turned the gun on them.
"I heard someone say get on the ground and then I heard, boom, boom, boom, boom, and I didn't know what was going on out here," said a witness who was feet away from the shooting.
Sgt. Nethken said Sgt. Gary Ferrari, an 11-year veteran with GPD, shot West through the neck when West pointed a pistol at the officer.
"At that particular point where he stops and turns and points that weapon at that officer, the only intent on that individual at that time has got to be either, he's gonna take the shot and shoot at the officers, or the officer is gonna have to eliminate the threat," said Sgt. Nethken.
Sgt. Nethken said Sgt. Ferrari is on paid administrative leave while the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office investigates the situation.
"All evidence, including independent eyewitnesses, indicates that the officer involved and the Gonzales Police Department acted in full accordance with policies, procedures, and State law," said Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley.
West is expected to survive his injuries. When released from the hospital he'll be booked into jail on armed robbery, theft, and aggravated flight charges. Police said he had an extensive criminal background.