[Updated 11/5/19] Former Tulane contract employee shot and injured


Lauren Duncan | Senior Staff Photographer

Former Tulane contract employee was shot and injured on Friday.

Colin Threlkeld, Senior Staff Reporter

[UPDATE: Nov. 5, 2019]

The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office booked Aples around 11 a.m. this morning on charges of resisting a police officer with force, aggravated assault with a vehicle upon a peace officer, obscenity and simple assault.

TUPD officers reportedly approached Aples because of an arrest warrant stemming from from a previous on-campus incident involving Aples, a former contract worker at the university. The obscenity and simple assault charges are apparently the result of the prior incident, while the charges of resisting an officer and aggravated assault with a vehicle upon an officer were the result of his alleged actions on Sep. 6.

Aples is pictured seated in his booking photo. It is not known whether this was owing to the gunshot wound he suffered when a TUPD officer fired at his car during the Sep. 6 incident.

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Around 1:10 p.m. Friday, Tulane University Police Department officers reportedly shot and injured a man in an alleyway near the corner of Ben Weiner Drive and S Claiborne Avenue. 

Tavion Aples, a former university contracted employee, allegedly resisted arrest and attempted to hit officers with his vehicle. He was later arrested by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s officers at a hospital where he was receiving treatment for a single gunshot wound, according to Mike Strecker, Tulane executive director of public relations.

Officers reported that they were initially investigating Aples’ presence on campus because of a warrant out for his arrest on charges of indecent exposure and trespass. Details of this charge have not yet been made available.

When officers attempted to arrest Aples, he allegedly resisted and drove his car toward officers. One officer then fired his weapon in the direction of Aples’ vehicle, striking him once. It is not currently known how many shots the officer fired in total. Aples then reportedly continued driving down Ben Weiner Drive before turning onto S Claiborne Avenue. 

Nola.com reported that multiple sources familiar with the incident confirmed there was a child in the vehicle on which the officer fired. It is not clear whether the officer could see the child in the vehicle when he fired, and Tulane has so far not acknowledged the child’s presence in the vehicle.

Aples then reportedly drove approximately 10 blocks down S Claiborne before colliding with a van that ran a stop sign at the intersection of Neron Place and Short Street. 

WWL-TV obtained video footage of the crash captured by a nearby home surveillance camera. 

After the crash, a man who appears to be Aples staggers out of the front passenger-side door, appearing to carry a small child. He then climbed into the black sedan of a bystander which reportedly drove him to a hospital where he was later arrested.

Shortly after, however, a second man appears to climb out the driver-side door, walking around for about a minute before wandering out of frame. While it is difficult to tell with certainty, the man does not give the appearance of having been shot. 

It thus seems unlikely the man driving at the time of this collision minutes after Aples’ initial altercation with TUPD was Aples himself. Neither the initial TUPD report nor Strecker’s subsequent statement mentioned a second man being present in Aples’ vehicle at the time of the initial TUPD report. 

The officer who shot Aples remains unnamed. He was placed on administrative assignment pending investigation by the NOPD Force Investigation Team, per TUPD policy.

The Hullabaloo will update this story as more information is provided.

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