The 44-year-old woman who was shot in the chest and arm Wednesday while she waited for a bus at Canal and South Rampart streets has been released from the hospital, according to prosecutors who urged an Orleans Parish judge on Friday to raise the bail of the alleged teenage shooter in the case.
Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras agreed, increasing Eric French’s bail from $25,000 to $150,000.
French, a 17-year-old junior at the NET Charter High School in Central City, was arrested on a count of aggravated battery by shooting after police caught up with him in Gentilly. He had jumped on an RTA bus after the shooting, police said.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian said police officers who boarded the bus found a handgun in French’s back left pocket. She said French told police he had fired in self-defense at a student who went by the name “Buck,” the two having had an earlier dispute at the school.
French told police that Buck had pulled out a silver handgun that didn’t fire and that he had fired back, hitting the bystander. The aftermath of the 3 p.m. shooting, as police investigated the scene, drew gawking from a bus full of Carnival season tourists.
Kilian said a gun charge could follow for French, who has no prior criminal record other than being caught with marijuana on Jan. 20, in a case that District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office has not yet accepted. French had been released from that count on a $10,000 recognizance bond.
Authorities have not released the name of the shooting victim, who initially was hospitalized in critical condition.
Prosecutors argued Friday that the severity of the crime and the drug charge pending against French warranted a higher bail. He also could be charged with a gun crime related to the shooting, prosecutors said.
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