NEW ORLEANS -- The outpouring of community support for St. John deputies shot in the line of duty continued Sunday night. A law enforcement official with a unique perspective is holding a benefit in their honor at Southport Hall.
All of the proceeds go to the deputies who were wounded or killed in St. John the Baptist Parish two months ago. Jeremy Triche and Brandon Nielsen died in the line of duty. Two others were wounded.
The tragedy inspired a New Orleans police officer to help. Andres Chico Gonzalez knows what it’s like to come back from tragedy. He was shot in the line of duty six years ago. He started the non-profit Help for Heroes, aimed to improve the lives of law enforcement officials and their families.
This is the agency’s first fundraiser, and some of the family members of the deputies who were shot appeared.
Nielsen’s parents flew in from Texas. They say the fundraising efforts make a big difference.
“The sad part is that he went to work one day and he didn’t come home, and he left behind a wife and five children,” said Wendy Nielsen, Brandon Nielsen’s mother. “And, you know, none of us independently wealthy, so this money helps get them through the day-to-day situations that everybody faces. And for those police officers that were wounded, they have medical bills, and their families have been touched in a different way, in that they’re having to live with this right now.”
The fundraiser runs until 8 p.m. Sunday at Southport Hall. Donations can also be made at any branch of First Bank & Trust under the "Help for Heroes" account.