NEW ORLEANS, La. - A New Orleans man was booked with second degree murder after, police say, he killed his 18-month-old daughter in their Bywater home.
Police say 45-year-old Mark Hambrick admitted he killed his daughter because "God told him to murder his child so the state of Louisiana can kill him so he can be resurrected," according to an arrest warrant obtained by our partners at the New Orleans Advocate.
The crime happened Tuesday morning in the 3100 block of North Rampart Street. Tuesday night, Bywater residents hosted a National Night Out Against Crime event all while trying to process what had taken place earlier in the day.
The entrance to the event was marked with gold balloons, delicious food, and festive music.
"We are going to hopefully entertain at least 40 people, share some fellowship and have an opportunity to meet the officers," said host, Susan Korec.
"Sometimes the officers get such a bad wrap and they're really good guys and they're trying to help us and that's important," said resident Pat Adams. "We shouldn't be afraid to interact with them."
Neighbors also had the chance to meet and talk with each other. However, behind the smiles and laughter were thoughts of sadness as many try to understand why a man several blocks away killed his 18-month-old daughter.
"It was very tough," said Korec. "It was a rough thing to hear this morning."
Police say around 7 a.m., Hambrick called police saying overnight he'd stabbed and suffocated his daughter, identified as Amena on social media. They say he then waited for officers in front of his Bywater house, where he was arrested.
"When I found out what really happened, it brought tears to my heart," said Adams.
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison told reporters earlier Tuesday that with a victim so young, it's a tough case for all.
"Especially for this family," he said. "Especially on a day when we're coming together as a community. Certainly this is one of the more tragic things any officer can see or investigate."
He added police are continuing their investigation.
"We're looking for anyone who has information about Mr. Hambrick," he added.
Residents say now is the time to come together because while neighbors may not understand why it happened, they say they're there for each other. Which was what Tuesday's National Night Out Against Crime event is about.
"It's good to know that people are willing to come out and interact and get to know you a little better. That's wonderful," said Adams.
"The more we're together, the more time we spend talking about what's going on in the neighborhood and look out for one another," said Korec.
In addition to that second degree murder charge, Hambrick was also booked with second degree cruelty to juveniles. His first appearance in court was earlier Tuesday evening, and it appears he'll be back in court in November.