A 14-year-old Edna Karr High School band member had to run for his life Thursday evening after an armed man grabbed his trombone and fired several shots at him as he walked home from band practice.
The teen, however, will not be without an instrument for much longer, thanks to globe-trotting musician Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, an idol of the victim. Andrews said Friday he plans to replace the purloined horn.
The teen, whose family asked that he not be identified to protect him, was walking home from the Algiers school when a black SUV passed him about 7 p.m. in the 4900 block of Berkley Drive.
The SUV made a U-turn and pulled in front of the teen, according to New Orleans police.
An armed man got out and walked up to the teen. He grabbed the boy and demanded the trombone, police said.
The boy was able to wriggle free of the man’s grip and began to run.
Then he heard gunfire and dropped the instrument as he continued to flee, police said.
The man grabbed the trombone and hopped back in the SUV, which sped away on Berkley and then in an unknown direction, police said.
Barbara Lamouranne, who lives near the scene of the gunfire, said her granddaughter rushed inside hollering about bullets flying.
She and her husband rushed outside to see the boy scramble away.
“This is just ridiculous,” she said. “This is out of control.”
Andrews shared that view.
He said the news of an innocent teen being robbed of his musical instrument saddened him and prompted him to take action.
“Music is the heartbeat of the city, and here’s this kid simply walking home from band practice with a trombone, trying to do something and have a positive future with music, whatever it may be, and someone wants to take his instrument from him,” Andrews said. “That’s just totally unacceptable.”
Andrews said he hoped to have his charity, the Trombone Shorty Foundation, provide a replacement trombone to the victim this weekend, adding that he hopes he can one day make music with the boy. “He can join me whenever, or I’ll go join him at school and play,” Andrews said.
That likely is something the victim would enjoy. His mother said her son picked up the trombone this year because he wanted to be like Andrews.
Police described the robber as black with a medium brown complexion, about 25 years old, 5-foot-8, 250 pounds, with a low fade haircut, full beard and mustache. He wore a white tank top and camouflage pants.
The SUV is described as a black Chevrolet with tinted windows, a silver grill, silver rims and thin tires.
There might have been five people inside, including the robber, police said.
The teen’s trombone has a gold finish with an engraved serial number: #PR2214.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the NOPD’s 4th District at (504) 658-6040 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.