Residents question NOPD classification of gun violence in 7th Ward

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 11:42 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly a half dozen cars are damaged by bullets after shots ring out in a 7th Ward neighborhood.

Community members are upset by the brazen daylight shooting unfolding where kids play, and residents are asking questions about the police investigation.

"He got out of the car and stood in the street and he actually fired eight times, just where that lady is standing down there. 'Bang, bang, bang, bang,'" said Gary Landrieu, recounting the shooting that unfolded in front of his eyes.

At first it sounded like the crackling of fireworks Monday afternoon along the 2000 block of Frenchmen Street. Landrieu, who was picking up his 3-year-old son, realized very quickly that wasn't the case.

"How brazen and irresponsible someone could be to just stand on the street and shoot down through the neighborhood and don't care where your bullets go? Who gets hurt, maimed or wounded?" Landrieu said. "It's just pathetic."

According to eyewitnesses, an unidentified man living in the 7th Ward neighborhood started walking down the street. They say a car drove by him and stopped. Someone got out and started shooting.

Eyewitness News counted a total of seven bullets hitting four cars on the block.

"I just froze. I figured as long as I stay in the backyard, the bullets will have a long way to come before they could get me. It went on for, I don't know, 30 to 45 seconds. It seemed like forever," said Ivan Hodges.

The New Orleans native takes care of his great nephew when his niece is at work. When shots rang out he was in the backyard.

Normally they'd be out front playing.

"He got his little four-wheeler that he got for Christmas and he loves riding it around. I was just so glad we weren't out here then. I almost cried when I thought about what could have happened," said Hodges.

The NOPD confirms two people were arrested in this case: 18-year-old James Dauphine and 17-year-old Jacshan Griffin. Police say both are being charged with aggravated assault because the victim in this case won't cooperate with detectives.

Both have a criminal record that includes carrying of illegal weapons and gun charges.

After questions from Eyewitness News, an NOPD spokesperson told us that detectives meet with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office every week to specifically review shootings and firearms crimes to make sure that the appropriate charges are filed.

The NOPD says that charges could be changed if more evidence is gathered in the case.

 

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