Ex-cop pleads guilty in Katrina bridge shooting



 New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- A former New Orleans police
lieutenant pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstruction of justice in
connection with the police shootings of civilians in the days after
Hurricane Katrina.

Two civilians were killed and four others were injured in the
shootings on the Danziger Bridge.

Former Lt. Michael Lohman conspired with other police officers to
cover up how the shootings occurred, even though he believed them to be
"legally unjustified," according to a federal indictment unsealed

The indictment charges Lohman with conspiring to obstruct justice.

Read the criminal complaint

The shooting happened on September 4, 2005, just days after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on the Gulf

Responding to a call for assistance, several officers drove to the
bridge and encountered six civilians who were walking across the bridge
to get food and supplies, the indictment says. The officers opened fire,
killing one person -- later identified as 19-year-old James Brissette
-- and injuring four others, according to the indictment.

They started shooting again on the other side of the bridge,
killing Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old severely disabled man, the
indictment says.

Madison was shot seven times -- five times in the back, the coroner
has said.

Lohman arrived after the shooting,
learned that his police colleagues "planned to provide false stories
about what had precipitated the shooting" and "encouraged them to do
so," according to the indictment.

Among other things, Lohman did not make sure police collected
evidence, suggested that colleagues get rid of some shell casings the
shooters left behind, and went along with a plan to plant a gun near the
bridge, according to the indictment.

State prosecutors pursued criminal charges against several police officers without success.

In August 2008, a judge quashed indictments against Sgts. Kenneth
Bowen and Robert Gisevius Jr., Officer Anthony Villavaso II and former
Officer Robert Faulcon Jr., who were all facing first-degree murder and
attempted murder charges. In addition, he threw out attempted
first-degree murder charges against Officers Mike Hunter Jr. and Robert
Barrios, and attempted second-degree murder charges against Officer
Ignatius Hills.

Federal prosecutors opened an investigation after
the judge's actions.