Passaro was the first officer to respond to a report of a robbery at the Dollar General store on Poland at St. Claude Saturday morning at about 7:30.
The NOPD says the suspect had forced the store's employees into an office in an attempt to get them to open the safe. A spokesman says that when the officer arrived on the scene and identified himself, the suspect burst out of the office and fired three rounds, hitting Passaro twice. A former JPSO officer who happened to be shopping in the store at the time picked up the fallen officer's radio to call for help.
Police say the suspect fled the scene on foot. The shooter is described as a black man between 30 and 40 years old, approximately 5'7", wearing blue jeans, sunglasses, a gray hoodie, and a bandana on his face.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture and indictment of the suspect. Anyone with information about the shooter is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.