The shirtless, bloody and belligerent man who was fatally shot when he burst into a house near Jazz Fest has been identified as a lighting designer from Colorado who was touring with the country jam band “Leftover Salmon."
Joseph “Joe” Cahill of Lamont, Colo. was fatally shot by a homeowner in the 1500 block of North Broad Street just moments after he ran away from police officers on bicycles who stopped to question him.
Cahill, a longtime theater lighting designer, reportedly set up the stage lighting for Leftover Salmon at their tour-ending show Saturday at Howlin’ Wolf on Peters Street. According to a newspaper article in the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, Cahill stayed behind to attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as the band returned to their Colorado home base.
What happened to Cahill during his final hours remains a mystery. New Orleans Police said he stopped by bicycle officers because he was found screaming and apparently wounded as he walked along Laharpe Street shortly after 2 p.m. near the Fairgrounds, where a rain-soaked Jazz Fest was well underway.
Cahill reportedly ran from the officers and into a nearby by home, where he started scuffling with the people inside. After being shot by the homeowner, Cahill was rushed to a hospital where he later died.
According to his hometown newspaper, friends of Cahill said the strange behavior was out-of-character for the longtime theater fixture.
A Facebook tribute stated, “We lost a dear friend this weekend. One of the funniest, caring, talented, hard-working guys you’d ever meet. We will miss you so much, Joe Cahill. Rest in peace.”
Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard said his office has ordered toxicology tests.
According to the Daily Camera article, Cahill leaves behind a 16-year-old daughter.