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He raised his siblings, then had 5 children of his own - he was shot and killed 2 weeks ago

With New Orleans now named the murder capitol of the US, H.O.P.E. founder and family friend of Algiers homicide victim says gun violence is a crisis.

NEW ORLEANS — The saved videos on Paulette Florant's phone are moments she'll always cherish. “That’s for his birthday,” said Florant as she watches a video of her son having a night out. “July the Fourth.”

Those moments now only live in videos and photos after her son, Anthony Florant, 31, was shot in Algiers Labor Day weekend.

“Got a lot of love for him. I’m still in shock though,” said Florant. “I’m to the point I don’t know if I’m coming or going.”

The oldest of five kids, at age 17, Anthony became a father figure to his siblings when his mom went to prison. She spent 12 years there. She’s been out two and a half. Still reconnecting with her kids, gun violence took her son September 3rd in the 3100 block of Magellan Street.

“When I got to the hospital, I was glad he’s alive, but I’m in shock,” said Florant. “Like, this isn’t really happening. This isn’t really happening to my son.”

Anthony died in the hospital that day and so did peace for his mom.

“It’s hard,” said Florant. “I cry. I can’t sleep.”

According to numbers form the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Anthony’s death is one of just more than 200 homicides in New Orleans so far this year.  

“It’s heartbreaking,” said family friend Michael Willis.

Willis, who also founded the community organization H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Endure), says gun violence across New Orleans is a crisis.

“Until we as a people decide what we really want to do in the community, take back the community, take back the household, these kinds of tragedies and trauma situations are going to continue to happen,” said Willis.

Willis says a shift in community is part of the problem. He says more people are carrying guns and there are simply not enough community programs. He and Florant want to change that.

“It has to come to an end sooner or later. We know we can’t save everybody but we’re going to try and do as much as we can with those that we can,” said Willis.

A father of five young kids, Anthony was buried this past Friday. While his mom still can’t make sense of what happened, she doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else.

“I forgive the family and whoever did it to my child because I have to come to piece with this because if I don’t come to peace, I’m going to lose my mind,” said Florant.

As of now, there have been no arrests in the death of Anthony Florant. Anyone with information is asked to call New Orleans police or Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111.


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