Memorials left for police volunteer killed in carjacking

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by Tania Dall / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 19 at 8:31 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- As New Orleans police continue to search for the killer who shot and killed an Algiers Point man, those who knew Harry "Mike" Ainsworth say he had a soft spot for law enforcement.

"I'm thankful for neighbors like you!" read the sign someone placed where Ainsworth died.

Many in the Algiers Point neighborhood are calling the 44-year-old a hero after attempting to stop a carjacking near his kids' school bus stop.

"Ainsworth jumped on the hood and [the gunman] shot him through the windshield twice, he stumbled over in front of my house with the two little boys. I heard [the victim] scream," said Al Schmitt, who heard his neighbor retell her terrifying ordeal.

He also heard her screams bright and early this morning.

"I saw two little kids leaning over their dad, crying their eyes out, and so I got the two kids away," said Schmitt.

A small memorial has started to appear in the spot where Schmitt says Ainsworth took his last breath, just 50 feet from where he tried to stop a criminal.

His bravery convincing Tommy Boudreaux -- also a father -- to offer his professional "trauma scene" cleaning services free of charge.

Boudreaux's small way of reaching out to a grieving family.

"To hear that the victim was a volunteer himself, I thought the least I can do is volunteer my services and be kind to the family. It was very traumatic for me to hear his children witnessed their father's passing," added Boudreaux.

The Algiers Point man who had a soft spot for law enforcement would spend countless hours volunteering here at NOPD's 8th District Station.

"So when he saw we really wanted to fix up the station, he and his brother said: 'Well, we're going to donate the time whenever we can,'" said B.B. St. Roman, president of Cops 8.

Ainsworth was a member of the non-profit, citizen-based group that raised money to support NOPD's 8th District station.

The Algiers Point man and his brother helped re-paint the entire front lobby.

"We were very appreciative of it and he basically did it out of the kindness of his own heart. He had a real zeal for this Department and he loved the 8th District tremendously," said NOPD Officer Frank Robertson.

Those who knew the 44-year-old say he always wanted to be a police officer, which is why friends aren't surprised by his tragic attempt to help a neighbor in distress.

"To me, he was killed in the line of duty, if not as a police officer but as a Good Samaritan, the duty of a good citizen," said St. Roman.

The family is accepting donations at the Algiers Branch of Whitney Bank at 501 Verret St., New Orleans, La, 70114.

 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111. You could be eligible for a $5,000 reward.

 

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