- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

GRETNA, La. (AP) - A man has died after being shot by a Gretna police officer during a police chase.

Gretna Deputy Police Chief Anthony Christiana tells Nola.comThe Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/1STCZrm) that Corey DiGiovanni died Thursday at University Medical Center in New Orleans.

Christiana says police sought to serve a warrant on DiGiovanni in an investigation into heroin distribution.

The deputy chief didn’t say who shot DiGiovanni. The man left his Anson Street house shortly before noon as officers gathered to serve the warrant, but may have spotted the officers.

DiGiovanni and a male passenger led officers on a chase, that went through the backyard of a house, over the Mississippi River levee and back again, and then into a bus terminal near the West Bank Expressway.

Amber Douglas, owner of nearby Skat Kat’s Sports Bar & Motel in Gretna, overheard the sirens and rushed outside.

“That’s when I saw the cops,” she said. “They came from the bus terminal. The truck jumped a curb and he couldn’t go no more.”

The chase ended after the pickup rammed a police vehicle, entangling the front ends, Christiana said.

DiGiovanni managed to free his truck, but an officer shot into the truck three times when Christian said he accelerated toward the officer.

Gretna police shut down part of the West Bank Expressway frontage road as investigators combed through the shooting scene Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, task force members continued searching at the Anson Street house and a second, unidentified location, Christiana said. The deputy chief didn’t say whether anyone else had been arrested or what was found.

A group of New Orleans-area police agencies had been probing heroin sales after a regional increase in heroin-related overdoses and deaths.

“We’ve been tracking not only who sells it but who’s been buying it to see if any deaths from uncut or pure heroin are related to these dealers,” Christiana said.

Investigators suspect heroin peddle by DiGiovanni can be linked to several overdose deaths, he said.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, https://www.nola.com

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