Merritt Landry, 33, is the man who is accused of shooting a 14-year-old boy in the head. According to reports, Landry thought the boy was an intruder, reports NOLA.com.
The teenager remains in critical condition tonight in a New Orleans’ hospital while his shooter has been bailed.
33-year-old Merritt Landry has bonded out of the Orleans Parish Jail re: critical shooting of 14 YO in Marigny; bond was set at $10k.
— Tania Dall (@taniadall) July 26, 2013
Here’s what you need to know about him…
1. Landry is a City Employee
Landry works as a building inspector for the Historic District Landmarks Commission of New Orleans. After his arrest and booking for the shooting he was placed on an emergency suspension without pay by the city.
2. He’s the Son of a Local Politcian
Landry’s father, Larry Landry, is described as a “former Justice of the Peace” by NOLA.com. He also ran as for “Clerk of Court” for the St. Bernard Parish area of New Orleans.
In 2001, Larry Landry was suspended without pay for six months without pay for:
…rendering a default judgment against a defendant in a small claims matter without having served the defendant with notice of the suit and without requiring relevant and competent evidence of the plaintiff to make a prima facie case.
3. Landry’s Lawyers Claim He Has Done ‘Nothing Wrong’
Landry’s attorneys, Michael Kennedy and Miles Swanson, released a statement on Friday, saying, “This incident is terrible, and Mr. Landry feels terrible about how things have occurred. Nevertheless, we remain convinced our client has done nothing wrong, and we are sure — as facts come to light — it’ll become clear that Mr. Landry will be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing.”
Also according to the police press release, “after a thorough review of the crime scene evidence as well as the evaluation of multiple interviews, Landry has been booked with attempted second-degree murder.”
4. Landry Was in His Home With Young Daughter and Pregnant Wife When the Shooting Occurred
Preliminary reports from neighbours are pointing to interesting implications in this case. Charles Hazouri, a friend and neighbor of Landry on Mandeville Street (above), who has a video security system on his house, told Nola.com reports that the system captured two teenagers biking around the neighborhood around 1:45 a.m. that night. The one of the teens was described as wearing a blue tank top with white stripes, while the other was wearing a light-colored T-shirt. The video has been given to police. A second unidentified neighbor claimed to have seen the boy in the blue striped shirt earlier in the evening at about 8 p.m. The neighbor believed he was looking at different houses.
“I thought about calling the cops, but the last thing I want to do is racially profile a little kid who’s just biking,” said the anonymous neighbor.
As per the neighbor’s accounts, the kids were black.
Landry, who had a pregnant wife and baby daughter in his home, was alerted to the teen in his yard by the family’s large dog barking, according to Landry’s friends.
5. This Shooting Comes as America is Still Reeling From the Murder of Trayvon Martin
After the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of 16-year-old Trayvon Martin, there is more debate over the controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws. Louisiana has a “State Your Ground” law but it’s unknown what defense Landry will use, he is currently charged with attempted second-degree murder.
Charles Hazouri told NOLA.com:
Unfortunately, I feel bad about it because I hope it doesn’t turn out to be another Florida deal, I’m a permit holder and a gun owner myself. You’ve got to stand up for your family.
New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu has weighed in on the issue statement:
Although the incident is still under investigation, it is clear that this was a tragedy. The New Orleans Police Department will continue to thoroughly investigate this matter to ensure that all of the facts are brought to light.