A cameraman covering a crime story for New Orleans’ WWL-TV was shocked to see his former college roommate, New Orleans Police Department Officer Marcus McNeil lying dead at the scene, WWL reported.
Vincent Lewis attended Dillard University with McNeil.
“It was an active scene by NOPD. The state troopers. And when I got up this morning and saw it was Marcus, my heart just dropped. My whole spirit, it just died,” Lewis said to WWL.
McNeil was shot in the early hours of Oct. 13 while on patrol. He and four other officers got out of their cars when they noticed something suspicious. The 30-year-old suspect, identified by family as Darren Bridges, has an arrest record that goes back about a decade, The Times-Picayune reported. He was on parole at the time of the shooting. He fired at the officers, hitting McNeil.
— AlwaysActions (@AlwaysActions) October 14, 2017
Another schoolmate of McNeil’s, Chris Quest, went to St. Augustine High School with the slain officer. They played in marching band together.
Quest is now a teacher at that same high school, and McNeil’s younger brother is a student of his.
“Earlier this year, we joked about the fact that we were classmates and that I’m now teaching his brother, and he told me to stay on him. Make sure he’s doing his best. And I assured him, that’s why we’re here,” said Quest to WWL.
Quest said the impact of McNeil’s death affected the entire school.
“This is a brotherhood. This is a bond that is unbreakable. And to lose one in any capacity… It hits hard, it hits home for everybody.”
After Bridges fired on the officers, he barricaded himself in an apartment before peacefully surrendering. He is currently in the hospital, recovering from the return fire gunshot wounds he received from officers.
We have lost one of our brothers. NOPD grieves this morning.
— NOPD (@NOPDNews) October 13, 2017
The 29-year-old McNeil leaves behind two daughters, 5 and 2, and a wife.