A 14-year-old boy was reportedly shot in the head at 2 a.m. today by a 33-year-old man in New Orleans, according to WDSU.
The unidentified teen was shot in the 700 block of Mandeville Street, in Landry’s yard. The teen was alleged to be an intruder, according to Landry’s friends.
While details are scarce, this threatens to be the latest divisive, racially charged tragedy to rock America.
The shooter was identified as Merrit Landry, a building inspector for the Historic District Landmarks Commission. Police has said that the boy was standing near Landry’s car when he was shot.
According to a police press release, the victim is currently in critical condition, but is said to be stable.
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.”
Preliminary reports from neighbours are pointing to interesting implications in this case. Charles Hazouri, a friend and neighbor of Landry, 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.
Hazouri acknowledged that Landry might face some legal trouble, especially in light of recent events following the Trayvon Martin murder investigation subsequent George Zimmerman acquital.
“Unfortunately, I feel bad about it because I hope it doesn’t turn out to be another Florida deal,” Hazouri said. “I’m a permit holder and a gun owner myself. You’ve got to stand up for your family.”
Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu has released a 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.