NEW ORLEANS -- Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of Harry “Mike” Ainsworth who was killed in January when he attempted to stop a carjacking in Algiers Point.
Police arrested a 17-year-old suspect, Kendall Harrison, announced Superintendent Ronal Serpas. Harrison will booked on a first-degree murder charge.
An arrest warrant was served at a home where Harrison was staying with relatives on the West Bank, according to police sources. Harrison was not at the home, so authorities took him into custody at a high school at about 1:30 p.m.
Serpas said Harrison was taken into custody without incident. He credited several tips from citizens in the apprehension of Harrison, saying that some of the tips idenitified Harrison by name. DNA was also used to link Harrison to the incident, according to Serpas.
“We received many tips from Crimestoppers that were extremely helpful in this investigation. Several of these tips named Harrison as the gunman,” Serpas said. “Bottom line, in the Ainsworth matter, this community said enough is enough and shared with us information in the two way that they can: one through Crimestoppers, which we are very grateful for, and one through the hard work of our detectives and the supporting members of the criminal justice system.”
On morning of Jan. 25, Ainsworth was taking his two sons to the school bus, when he witnessed the attack. He rushed to help a woman who was being carjacked.
Ainsworth was shot in the struggle with the suspected carjacker and collapsed nearby in a neighbor's yard, dying in front of his two children. Despite several 911 calls and a quick response to the scene of the shooting by the New Orleans Police Department's 4th District, the suspected gunman was able to flee the scene on foot and elude police.
Ainsworth's murder capped a particularly bloody month in New Orleans and sparked outrage and an outpouring of support from residents, as the brazen, daylight murder became of a symbol of the escalation in violence throughout the city.
A memorial still sits in Al Schmitt's front yard where Ainsworth fell and died.
“I’m somewhat relieved. We don’t know whether that’s the right guy, but at least we’re making headway,” Schmitt said. “It just seems like within five weeks they could have gotten the guy.”
Algiers Point resident Bruno Lossi said he was "very happy" to hear the news.
“To be honest with you, deep down, I knew they were going to catch him and it was only a matter of time,” he said.