Basketball dispute led to playground shooting

A shooting that wounded two men Tuesday afternoon at a Central City playground was the result of an argument about who was next in line to use the basketball court, New Orleans police said Wednesday.

Detectives are looking for two persons of interest in the case.

Police said Gerard Gray, 23, and another man whose identity is unknown might have information about the shooting. They released a surveillance image of the unknown man in an effort to help identify him.

The shooting was reported a little after noon at A.L. Davis Park at Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street.

The victims, ages 24 and 38, were not seriously wounded, said Cmdr. Bob Bardy, who oversees the NOPD’s Sixth District, which includes Central City.

Anyone with information about either person of interest is asked to call 6th District detectives at (504) 658-6061.

Suspect identified in West Bank teen’s death

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect in a shooting that killed a 16-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon on the West Bank.

Joharri Walker, 19, of Marrero, allegedly shot Stefan Johnson about 12:35 p.m. near Luther and King drives in Marrero. He collapsed about a block away in the 1100 block of Martin Drive.

Johnson was pronounced dead upon arrival at Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans but then was revived in the emergency room. He died at 4:28 p.m. from his wounds.

Walker, who according to the Sheriff’s Office has prior arrests for second-degree murder, is wanted on a count of second-degree murder in connection with Johnson’s death.

Anyone with information on Walker’s whereabouts is asked to contact homicide Detective Gabriel Faucetta at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Edgard man shot in struggle with officer

A 49-year-old Edgard man was shot in the leg Wednesday by a St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s deputy after allegedly charging at the officer while holding what appeared to be a handgun, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of John Pierre Street at 5:51 a.m. Wednesday after a woman called 911 to say that Kirk Bovie was high on drugs and had punched her in the face, pushed her niece and broken a window in her trailer.

When deputies arrived, Bovie allegedly fled to a wooded area. They found him in a sugarcane field holding what looked like a weapon, Sheriff Mike Tregre said. Deputies ordered Bovie to put down the gun, but he refused and instead charged at one of the deputies, Tregre said.

Bovie allegedly grabbed at the gun of the deputy, Arthur Ponder, who then fired at Bovie twice, hitting him once in the leg. Bovie’s purported handgun turned out to be a pellet gun with the orange safety tip removed, Tregre said. He was transported to the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans.

Ponder, who has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for more than three years, was put on a leave of absence while authorities investigate the incident, a move that Tregre described as standard procedure.

After he is released from the hospital, Bovie will be arrested and, pending the investigation’s outcome, booked accordingly, Tregre said.

Reward increased in Bourbon St. shooting

Crimestoppers said Wednesday it has increased to $5,000 the reward for information that leads to the arrest of the second gunman in the June 29 Bourbon Street shooting.

While the reward money is usually handed over only upon a suspect’s indictment, an arrest of the suspect will net the tipster the cash in this case, said Darlene Cusanza, president of Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans.

The organization also is offering a $1,000 reward for each gun used in the shooting if they are turned in.

Anyone with information about the gunman or the weapons used in the shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. Callers can remain anonymous.

Pearl River drowning victim ID’d as Miss. man

A man who drowned after his boat flipped over in the Pearl River near its junction with the Bogue Chitto River has been identified as James Mann, 45, of Picayune, Mississippi.

Two men fell into the river when the boat overturned Saturday evening. The other man returned to the surface, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said, but Mann remained missing. Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents found the body in the river Monday morning near Walkiah Bluff.

The St. Tammany Coroner’s Office ruled the death as an accidental drowning and identified the victim.