New Orleans police arrested 23-year-old Travone Williams on Friday for allegedly opening fire on a woman inside a restaurant on Canal Street. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition, authorities said.
Gunfire erupted about 4:20 p.m. inside the China Wall restaurant, near Rampart Street. Police said Williams entered the restaurant around 4:05 p.m. and acted erratically. When the victim entered the restaurant and attempted to calm him down, police said, he produced a .45-caliber pistol and shot at her twice, hitting her once in the head.
The gunman appears to have known the victim, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said, but it remained unclear whether the two were related.
“The details are sketchy,” Harrison told a group of reporters gathered near the cordoned-off crime scene, which attracted a crowd of onlookers amid rush-hour traffic. “We are in the process of reviewing video.”
The gunman had been sick, Harrison said, and apparently vomited inside the restaurant.
“We believe he was ill in some fashion — we don’t know why,” he said. “He was at least stable enough to produce a firearm and begin firing.”
Harrison said a swift police response had ensured the shooting “turned out to be not any worse than what it is.”
An officer in the area responded “very fast,” Harrison said, and called for backup. Officers from the 8th and 1st districts arrived and, walking into an “active-shooter situation,” took the young man into custody without further incident.
He was booked with attempted second-degree murder.
“They were very brave and courageous and acted without fear,” Harrison said of the officers.