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Young entrepreneur shot and killed near Audubon Park

Devin Espadron founded a beverage company while he was still in high school and had big plans for his future.

NEW ORLEANS — Devin Espadron, a young entrepreneur who started a beverage company while still a teen and who was featured in Gambit Weekly’s annual listing of ’40 under 40’ movers and shakers was shot and killed Tuesday night near Audubon Park, friends and family said.

The shooting occurred near the corner of Perrier and Calhoun streets. The NOPD said the victim was found on the sidewalk and had been shot several times.

"He started his beverage company at age 16, Element Beverage Company. He was taken away by his family and friends by a senseless murder last night," said Keishia Deverney, Espadron's mother, who spoke while holding a portrait of her son. "I’m just at a loss. My child, he was a good kid, he was loved by so many people and he’s going to be missed. I just want to have justice."

Espadron, 22, and friend Danion Green founded Element Beverage Company in 2015, before they were out of St. Augustine High School.

The beverage was a combination of Espadron’s grandmother’s lemonade recipe and a red pineapple drink that was a favorite in the Green household.

The Element Beverage Company web site said that Devin started selling fresh juice to a restaurant in the French Quarter and later it began being bottled in Louisiana and carried in a handful of stores.

The pair’s entrepreneurial spirit caught the eye of Gambit Weekly, which annually features a look at more than three dozen young movers and shakers in its ’40 under 40’ spread.

Espadron also enjoyed rap music and his mother said he spent a lot of time in the studio with some songs that got onto Sound Cloud.

"This is senseless," said his mother. "All the senseless murders in New Orleans. It has to stop."

A vigil will be held for Devin Espadron at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at the site of his murder.

Police haven’t discussed a possible motive in the case or named any suspects. Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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