A 19-year-old man admitted he fatally shot a beloved Uptown street cat with a pellet gun after New Orleans police caught up with him using surveillance camera footage and a database of information sheets that cops fill out after stopping and questioning people, according to records filed in court Friday.
Kyre West, who was jailed Thursday on a count of aggravated cruelty to animals, also said he did not have sights on his weapon and was unsure if he would strike the cat known as Blackie when he fired at it, according to police.
Police first learned about Blackie's slaying after an unknown caller reported seeing an injured cat outside Zeus' Place animal shelter in the 4600 block of Freret Street on Wednesday. Blackie was taken to a veterinary hospital but died there.
Investigators reviewed Zeus' Place's surveillance camera footage and noticed an older-model Chevrolet Corsica in the area.
One camera angle along the 2500 block of Cadiz Street showed the Corsica's driver point a long gun out of the driver's side window toward the cat, which suddenly fell on its side shortly before the car drove away. Police also established that the Corsica's rear passenger window had been shattered and covered with a light-colored towel or bag.
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Investigators then searched a police database of so-called field interview cards, which contain the names and personal information of people questioned by cops.
That database indicated the Corsica had been stopped Sept. 20 at Soniat and South Robertson streets, a few blocks from where Blackie was later shot. West was driving the car, which had the same shattered window, police said. He also matched the physical appearance of the man seen in the Zeus' Place surveillance video, according to police.
Police stopped West as he drove the Corsica on Thursday in Gert Town. He was taken to a police station for questioning and confessed to shooting Blackie, police said in court records.
Criminal District Court Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell set West's bail at $25,000 Friday.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Henn said West does not appear to have any prior felony convictions or arrests.
In a statement Thursday, the Louisiana SPCA Humane Law Enforcement office said a tip it had received also led to West's arrest. The group said a caller contacted it with information about the Corsica seen in the surveillance footage.
Aggravated cruelty to animals in Louisiana can carry a fine of between $5,000 and $25,000 as well as between one and 10 years in prison.