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Man shot defending his home, wife in Gentilly Terrace

“I love this city with all my heart... but stuff like this makes it really hard to justify staying here and making a life here.”

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Police are investigating a possible break-in, that ended with a local artist being shot several times.

Joe Cooper is a bear of a man, well known for his creative tie-dye designs.

Monday around 3:00 p.m., somebody shot him in the doorway of his home in the 4400 block of St. Roch Avenue in the Gentilly Terrace neighborhood.

“People say they’ll take a bullet for you,” his wife Leslie Cooper said. “He took four.”

Leslie Cooper is a show host on WWOZ radio.

She says her husband, who friends sometimes call “Pappa Mojo,” was shot while trying to protect her from a possible intruder.

“He was protecting me. He said that’s my job.”

According to Cooper, a young man knocked on their door asking about a package that may have been delivered to their address.

Her husband told him no such package arrived.

She says about a half-hour later, the man and possibly a second suspect came back to their home and this time tried to force their way in.

Her husband blocked the door.

“He yelled at me, baby get down and he tried to push them out the door,” Cooper said. “At that point in time, they pulled him out with them, maybe, I don’t know and there were multiple, rapid, rapid gunshots.”

The bullets struck Joe Cooper in the abdomen and legs.

His best friend and business partner Anthony Filippone says he’s not surprised Cooper would put his life on the line for his wife.

“I would not expect anything less,” Filiponne said. “He’s as standup of a guy you could ever meet. “

Doyle Cooper is a New Orleans musician.

He says no telling what could have happened if his mother answered the door instead of his father.

“I love this city with all my heart,” Doyle said. “But stuff like this makes it really hard to justify staying here and making a life here.”

Police do not believe criminals looking for a package is a common ruse in the city.

“I can emphatically say this is an isolated incident,” NOPD Lt. Ernest Luster said. “We track all crime, and this is the first method of an incident that we’ve had here in the Third District.”

Police say a white vehicle, possibly an Acura or Honda was spotted fleeing the scene after the shooting.

The Coopers say if they can become victims of violent crime, no one is safe in the city.

“If you had to ask me if I was going back into my home, I can’t until these people are caught,” Leslie Cooper said.

“I never thought that something like this would hit this close to home,” Doyle Cooper said.

At last report, Joe Cooper was in serious condition, but stable at University Medical Center.

His son Doyle set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for his father’s hospital expenses and long-term care.

The Cooper family is asking people to donate blood for Joe.

Blood drives are now being held at a number of locations. They include Wednesday at St. Vincent's Community Center, 3500 Canal Street from 11a.m. to 6 pm.

And all this week at the Metairie Donor Center, 2617 Edenborn Ave. in Metairie.

“Luckily, we had the blood on the shelf to help him, but we’re looking at right now about a two-day supply of blood,” the Blood Center’s Paul Adams said. “We need a three-to-four-day supply of blood just in case there’s an emergency.”

Donors for Joe Cooper must specify he is the intended recipient.

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