By Natasha Robin | WVUE | May 23, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Since the weekend began Friday at 4 p.m., 15 people have been wounded by gunfire in nine different shootings across New Orleans. Four of those victims died.
“The fact that it can happen anywhere on any street makes it surprising,” says Ben Stevens.
“It’s a shame. Honestly, it’s bad for the city. It’s bad for the people of New Orleans,” says Sabrina Allen, who is in town for a psychiatric convention.
“It’s not getting any better,” says Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission
Goyeneche says violence is accelerating when it comes to homicides. Police have investigated 117 homicides so far this year, compared to 75 from the same time period last year. That’s a 56% increase.
“Shooting incidents are down. Homicides are up. Meaning that the people that are being shot are more likely to die in large part because of the firepower that’s being brought to these shooting incidents,” says Goyeneche.
The bloody weekend began when a man was injured in a shooting on I-10 near Crowder around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon (May 20).
A woman, identified as 36-year-old Rolanda Williams, was shot and killed less than an hour later on Chef Menteur Highway.
Four people were shot in the parking lot of a gas station in the Lower 9th Ward Friday night. Among them was 42-year-old Jermaine Hulbert, who died from his injuries.
Another shooting happened Sunday in the 300 block of Baronne Street when police say a group of suspects pulled up in a vehicle, got out, and started shooting. A 22-year-old died from his injuries and two other victims were rushed to a hospital. Neither the dead man’s identity nor the condition of the other two victims has been disclosed.
Tourists staying in a nearby hotel described it as a gun battle.
“There were semi-automatic weapons and single-fired shots. Somebody was using a larger weapon,” says the tourists.
A 16-year-old boy was shot at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Royal and St. Louis streets in the French Quarter. The NOPD said the victim had been in an “altercation” with an unknown male suspect, who shot the teen twice. The wounded teen was taken for hospital treatment, but police have not disclosed his condition.
About 20 minutes later, the NOPD said a man arrived at a hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to his back. Police said the man was a passenger in a vehicle who was struck when someone opened fire on near North Galvez Street and Fats Domino Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward. The 34-year-old victim was taken to the hospital by the person driving their vehicle with at least one window shot out.
Early Monday morning, police say a gunman attempted to rob a man on Convention Center Boulevard. When the victim refused, police say the gunmen shot the victim in the elbow. A psychiatric convention, hosting thousands of tourists, is taking place right across the street.
“I was so happy to come here for the convention. I said that will be wonderful, but it actually is a bit scary. I think it’s just sad,” says Allen.
“It’s accelerating and the police officers are being overwhelmed by this, and the public is paying the price. Here we are in May, and we still don’t have a police pay raise yet,” says Goyeneche.
Goyeneche says the NOPD is taking a more proactive approach to addressing the violence, but the lack of manpower is still a major issue.