A popular late-night diner on the city's busiest tourist drag became the site of a grisly slaying early Thursday, when a man showed up at his former girlfriend's workplace, confronted her new boyfriend, then fired a shot that struck her in the face and killed her, according to New Orleans police. 

Alexander Kirby showed up at Clover Grill in the 900 block of Bourbon Street just after midnight on the hunt for his ex-girlfriend, Shay De St. Germain, and her boyfriend, a law enforcement source said. 

Kirby allegedly pulled a gun on the boyfriend in a back courtyard, sparking an argument that drew in De St. Germain. Eventually, Kirby fired a shot, and De St. Germain was struck in the face, the source said. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

It wasn't immediately known how many people were in Clover Grill at the time of the shooting. De St. Germain worked at the diner, according to management. Her boyfriend also worked there, according to the law enforcement source. 

Kirby fled, but state troopers and New Orleans police caught him nearby. He was booked on counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm after a witness to the shooting identified him as De St. Germain's killer, police said. 

The aggravated assault count relates to the allegation that he threatened the current boyfriend with a gun. 

Documents filed in Criminal District Court on Thursday do not mention the former relationship between Kirby and De St. Germain, both 33. But they do describe security camera footage that they say shows Kirby pulling out a gun and pointing it at two people "while approaching them menacingly." 

The victim who was slain stood between Kirby and the other person Kirby was confronting, the documents say. The gun discharged, and a bullet hit the victim in the head. 

Authorities didn't officially release the name of the victim, but multiple people confirmed her identity Thursday. 

Shay De St. Germain

Shay De St. Germain (image via Facebook)

Men kill women in Louisiana with alarming regularity. The state’s homicide rate for female victims is roughly 2.42 per 100,000 women — more than double the national average of 1.20 and the second highest rate in the United States, a 2018 study from the Violence Policy Center reported. 

Kirby will be sentenced to mandatory life in prison if convicted of murder. His bail was set at $600,000 Thursday afternoon.  

A statement on Facebook from a manager for the company that owns Clover Grill called the incident a “senseless and violent act.” He described De St. Germain as a “team member” but did not say whether she was on duty at the diner at the time she was killed.

“She was full of life, headstrong, and truly cared for everyone she surrounded herself by,” the statement added.

Though the diner normally is open 24 hours, a sign on the window Thursday read: “Clover Grill is temporarily closed, sorry for the inconvenience.” Flowers were left under the sign.

An attorney for Clover Grill told WWL-TV that the restaurant would remain closed "as long as necessary to put our employee and friend to rest.”

"This was a domestic dispute that went bad,” said the attorney, Darleen Jacobs. “We’re all devastated.”

Photos on social media show Kirby and De St. Germain embracing each other in past years.

She is the second woman this year to be shot to death on Bourbon Street.

Louis Barnes, 37, was booked in late February in a shooting that left a 36-year-old nurse named Julie Couvillon dead. Couvillon was walking near Willie’s Chicken Shack in the 400 block of Bourbon when she was shot in her neck while Barnes and a security guard struggled over a pistol.

The fight began as the guard tried to toss Barnes out of the restaurant, according to authorities.

Barnes, through an attorney, has denied pulling the trigger of the guard’s gun. Prosecutors recently charged him with manslaughter, and the case remains pending.

WWL-TV and Advocate staffers Jeff Nowak and Sophia Germer contributed reporting.


Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.