A man was gunned down steps from his twin babies in Gentilly on Friday morning in what New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison called an act of “senseless violence.”
Coupled with the death of a man who had lingered for days after being shot in Algiers on Tuesday, the slaying helped make the week one of the bloodiest this year in New Orleans.
Police have not said any of the week’s five killings are related, but Harrison expressed concern about the sharp rise in violence after almost two months of relative calm. There have been 24 homicides so far in 2016, compared with 34 at this point last year.
Friday’s shooting happened near Lafreniere and Hamburg streets about 9:45 a.m.
Police said they believe the victim was inside a silver Kia SUV with the two children. In an apparent attempt to distance himself from them, he then fled from the car, running lakebound on Hamburg Street, before he was shot. He died at the scene.
The man’s name has not been released by authorities.
Relatives said he was found on his knees, but Harrison declined to comment on whether investigators believe his killing was an execution.
As rain pelted down, relatives of the slain man rushed police lines several times in an attempt to view the man’s body. The twins, who were less than a year old, were eventually removed from the SUV in car seats and handed over to family members.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Harrison said. “It was nonsense, it was unnecessary, and now these children’s lives are changed forever.”
One woman at the scene angrily shouted threats of retaliation, but Harrison asked the family to let police find justice on their behalf.
“We’ve had a string of violence recently. We are not going to tolerate it,” he said. “We’re going to bring justice to this victim and his family as well.”
Elsewhere, a beer delivery man shot in the head outside a Chevron station in Algiers on Tuesday died two days later, pushing the week’s homicide total to five.
Authorities have not released the name of the 19-year-old victim, who was shot by an unknown assailant outside the station at Gen. de Gaulle and Shirley drives. Police believe the attacker targeted his victim.
Fourth District Lt. Preston Bax said at a commanders’ briefing Wednesday that investigators had obtained surveillance video of the shooting. The victim was unloading beer from a truck when a hooded attacker approached him from along a wooden fence in the 3300 block of Florence Drive, Bax said.
The shooter and his victim, who appeared to know each other, exchanged words for several seconds, standing just feet apart. The shooter then raised a gun and fired, according to police, fighting off the victim’s attempt to wrest the weapon away.
The bullet went into the victim’s head through his neck and out through his left eye, police said.
The attack left a large pool of blood on the ground between an ice chest and a pump at the gas station. Minutes later, a distraught woman who said she was the victim’s mother showed up at the scene.