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Officers on leave after gunfight at Highland apartment

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BATON ROUGE - A man who was shot by police after he reportedly fired a gun at officers was released from the hospital and taken to jail Wednesday.

The Baton Rouge Police Department said the shooting happened around 7:20 p.m. Saturday at The Hub Apartments on Highland Road, just off Lee Drive. Officers were responding to a call concerning a person in emotional distress when they heard gunshots coming from a nearby building.

"That involved an emotionally disturbed person. While they were dealing with that particular incident, they heard shots being fired in the area. They made contact with the person — who turned the gun on them — and the officers fired at that particular person, striking him in the upper torso area," BRPD Sgt. L'Jean McKneely said. 

Sunday afternoon, BRPD placed two officers on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. Police attributed the situation to a 'mental health crisis.' The department later identified them as officers Willie Brown and Curtlan Williams, both two-year veterans.

Police said the suspect, Malik Chavis, was released from the hospital and booked Wednesday on two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, illegal use of a weapon and possession of firearm by a convicted felon.

"Mental health is real... There are avenues that people can take and resources that they can use where they can get assistance," McKneely said.

However, the crime is still unsettling to some.

A neighbor who lives at The Hub apartments, who did not want to go on camera says, this isn't the first time a shooting has happened in this area.

"There are some instances that happened, not only there but all over the city."

And with the ongoing crime, police are urging everyone to get involved.

"When you see criminal activity occurring anywhere, the way that you can become involved, is gathering as much information. Contact your local law enforcement, or you as neighbors, work together and harden your community."

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