Suspect in New Orleans cop killing had access to guns in patrol car, police say

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(CNN) — The man accused of killing a New Orleans police officer on Saturday apparently had access to two guns at the time of the slaying — even though he had been searched and was handcuffed and in the backseat of a squad car, police said Sunday.

“We realize that’s an obvious issue,” New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said at a news conference. “We’re going to get to the bottom of that.”

Travis Boys, 33, was being taken to jail early Saturday by Officer Daryle Holloway when Holloway was shot dead. Boys fled the scene and was the focus of a “relentless” 24-hour manhunt before he was taken into custody Sunday morning as he was attempting to board a bus, police said.

Harrison said Sunday that Boys will be charged with first degree murder in the death of Holloway, who was 45.

“From the moment that this tragic event happened, we brought together … many people and resources to track down this suspect and bring him to justice,” Harrison said Sunday.

But the question remained how Boys could have managed access to two weapons found at the scene of the killing — a .38-caliber handgun that had been the reason Boys was arrested on Friday night, and a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson believed to have been used to shoot Holloway. Both weapons were recovered in Holloway’s patrol car, and the officer’s gun was still in its holster, police said.

Boys had been arrested Friday night for aggravated assault in an incident in which he allegedly fired a .38-caliber weapon, according to NOPD. “Night watch officers at the 5th District Station frisked Boys for any weapons and subsequently turned Boys over to the day watch to transport Boys to the Orleans Parish Prison,” police said in a statement.

The task of transferring Boys to Orleans Parish Prison fell to Holloway, a 22-year NOPD veteran.

Before the four-mile ride from the district station to the jail concluded, Holloway was dead, and Boys was missing.

Police believe Boys used the Smith & Wesson to kill Holloway. “How Boys was able to retrieve this weapon is still under investigation,” read a statement from police.

When police arrested him Sunday morning, Boys was still wearing the remnants of “busted” handcuffs, the chief said. As to how Boys managed to free his hands, “we don’t know,” Harrison said.