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'One of the best deans in New Orleans:' Popular charter school leader gunned down in 7th Ward

"He would stay late. He worked with the athletics department. He worked with our scholars beyond the school day. So, he was just a person that you had to respect."

NEW ORLEANS — The Andrew Wilson Charter School family is mourning the loss of Head Dean of Students, Reginald Field.

Field, 50, was leaving Bullet's Sports Bar in New Orleans just after midnight, Saturday morning when someone shot and killed him in the 2400 block of A.P. Tureaud in the 7th Ward.

His murder left Field's colleagues at InspireNOLA Charter Schools frustrated, confused, and angry.

"We want peace," InspireNOLA Chief Academic Officer Wylene Sorapuru said. "We want to live in peace. That is one thing our scholars do learn in this tragedy, a very traumatizing event."

Bullet's owner Rollins "Bullet" Garcia told WWL-TV there was no evidence of an altercation in the bar.

Field was seen on security camera video leaving with a friend. Garcia said shortly after that, gunshots rang out and Field was gunned down on the neutral ground about half a block away.

RELATED: New Orleans charter school dean killed in 7th Ward shooting

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Garcia also claimed, based on witness accounts, Field may have been ambushed by someone waiting for him outside the bar.

His school family now remembers Field for the way he dedicated his life to education and to children, not the way he died as a result of gun violence. 

"He was not an individual who would come and leave early," Sorapuru said. "He would stay late. He worked with the athletics department. He worked with our scholars beyond the school day. So, he was just a person that you had to respect."

Wilson principal Lee Green told The New Orleans Advocate that Field never forgot that the most important people in the building were the children.

"His death is a huge loss for Wilson, for InspireNola, and for the city," Green said. "If all of the city's deans were ranked 1 to 10, he was a 10 — one of the best deans in New Orleans."

RELATED: Woman shot in arm Uptown as Memorial Day violence continues

Field was a New Jersey native who spent the past four years in New Orleans at Andrew Wilson Middle-School.

"He loved Andrew Wilson," Sorapuru said. "He loved the scholars. He loved the community. He completely poured his life into this school."

InspireNOLA is holding a vigil to remember, honor, and celebrate the life of Reginald Field at 4 p.m.  Wednesday, May 29 on the neutral ground across from Bullets Sports Bar, 2441 A.P. Tureaud Ave. 

Field was one of five people killed by gunfire from early Saturday Memorial Day Weekend to Monday in New Orleans and Metairie.

RELATED: 5 killed, 11 wounded in Metro Area Memorial Day Weekend violence

The CEO of InspireNOLA, Jamar McKneely, said he has attended three students' funerals this year. 

"I find myself extremely frustrated and tired of the senseless violence that is affecting our city and our students. In all of my 17 years in education, I have never before experienced more pain, suffering, and death in one year due to senseless gun violence," McKneely said. "This weekend and this year have brought me to tears and agony that I cannot explain here in words."


Katy Reckdahl from the New Orleans Advocate contributed to this story