NEW ORLEANS-- Neighbors remained abuzz after an overnight shooting in the Bywater where a cab driver shot an alleged would-be-robber. It happened just after 10 p.m. on Thursday in the 3100 block of Burgundy Street. The New Orleans Police Department said the investigation is ongoing and they are releasing few details about what happened.
People who live along the quiet section of Burgundy Street awoke to the sound of gunfire.
'When I got back up, there was the whole neighborhood was full of police and the fire department,' said Alan Jones, who lives in the neighborhood.
In an emailed statement, NOPD a 41-year-old United Cab driver shot a male, between the ages of 16 and 18. Police said when the man got in the cab, he asked to go to Canal Street and implied he had a weapon. Police spokesman Garry Flot said the suspect demanded money and that the cabbie handed it over.
Flot said that the man got out of the cab at the 3000 block of Burgundy and that the cabbie immediately armed himself and confronted the man and at some point shot him in the face. The suspect then tried to flee and fell down injured.
Flot said cabbie's keys and money were found at the scene as was a flashlight wrapped in a rag, presumably the implied weapon of the assailant.
Flot said the suspect would be charged with armed robbery upon release from the hospital.
'Today, the way people are, who knows what's going to happen?' Jones said.
Cab driver Andre Strumer understands the feeling. He was threatened last week by someone with a gun, while on the way to the airport and called dispatch for help.
'He picked up a pistol and started waving it and pointing it at me towards the car,' Strumer said.
Sheree Kerner's brother, Billy, was a cab driver murdered last year, while dropping off a fare in Terrytown.
'I just wish that my brother would have had that opportunity to do the same thing,' she said.
Kerner is supporting city reforms to the taxi cab Industry, including the placement of cameras in vehicles.
'I think these guys need to really think about their safety in this community because it's horrible that these guys are being victimized and all they're trying to do is earn a living,' she said.
Calls to United Cab were not returned today. In the meantime, the alleged robber remains hospitalized in serious condition.