Eleanor Tabone, 4WWL

September 13, 2023

For the first time in more than two years, there hasn’t been a homicide in 12 days in the City of New Orleans.

Crime analysts believe the hot weather and gun enforcement could be the reason for the reduction in violent crime.

Two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated Southeast Louisiana, St Anna’s Episcopal Church began writing the names of homicide victims outside the church.

Deacon Luigi Mandile said to Eyewitness News, “We ran out of room on the church and on the permanent board and I write them now on the side of the building on the board and I’ll be keeping it up, I haven’t had to update it in a while, really update it, which is great.”

He went on to explain the significance of the name board in the neighborhood.

“We get a lot of kids here that will come out and see a relatives name up on there, and these are 7-or-8-year-olds or 9-year-olds. They’ll point out their uncle or their step dad… that’s really really hard to hear and see a kid do that,” Deacon Mandile said.

Deacon Mandile says during the crime surge last year he was writing nearly 10 names down a week, but in the last 12 days he hasn’t had the heartbreaking task of writing another:  “Last few weeks or so have really plummeted, by the grace of God.”

Mayor Cantrell said murders are down 24%.

“We saw fewer violent crimes in the City of New Orleans this past week, including a no homicide and fewer non fatal shooting victims,” Cantrell said at her weekly briefing.

According to Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission there have been no homicides over the last 12 days but he says there have been nine non-fatal shootings. He said he believes homicides are down because of the excessive heat and NOPD’s firearm enforcement program.

Goyeneche said, “Every unsolved crime of violence particularly fatal and non-fatal shootings means that people that did the shootings, if it was a non-fatal shooting they’re going to continue to go after their target.”

He also believes after last year’s record-breaking bloodshed; criminals have developed a sort of hierarchy. “They have essentially self-regulated the people that were doing the shooting have asserted the dominance, the people that were being shot at have now recognized that if they’re going to be out in public, they’re putting themselves at risk.”

More than 2000 victims of violent crime are remembered at the church on Esplanade, victims’ loved ones left hoping they won’t be forgotten.