LaBryson Polidore and Stafford Starks have been identified as the two suspects accused in a mass shooting that occurred in New Orleans’ French Quarter on December 1, 2019. Starks, 21, was arrested on December 10. Polidore, 22, was apprehended around midnight on December 11.
This does not appear to have been a coordinated attack. Police said the two suspects were firing at each other and ended up hurting innocent bystanders in the process. Investigators are still working to determine whether there were any additional shooters.
The shooting happened along Canal Street near Bourbon and Royal Streets around 3:25 a.m. Ten victims were reported injured at the time, though the number of people hurt was increased to 12 over the course of the investigation.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Police: Polidore & Starks Had an Ongoing Feud & Shot At Each Other In Front Of a Marked Police Unit
LaBryson Polidore and Stafford Starks are both from St. Mary Parish, a city located about 90 miles southwest of New Orleans. The two suspects had an ongoing feud.
Police Chief Shaun Ferguson confirmed that Polidore and Starks knew each other during a news conference on December 10, but said investigators were not yet sure what their feud was about.
He explained that both men were visiting New Orleans during the Bayou Classic event and crossed paths early in the morning on December 1. Ferguson said that Polidore was seen on surveillance video shooting his weapon directly in front of a marked police unit. The officers stationed along that block had initially thought they were being fired upon due to the close proximity of the gunfire. None of the officers were injured.
There were additional police officers patrolling that night because they were providing coverage for the Bayou Classic. The annual event marks the rivalry football game between Southern University and Grambling State University. According to the event’s website, more than 200,000 visitors had been expected to visit New Orleans that weekend.
2. Stafford Starks Was Not Injured During the Shooting & Was Arrested ‘Without Incident’ At His Home on December 10
Stafford Starks was not injured during the shooting on Canal Street. New Orleans PD says that he was arrested “without incident” at his home in St. Mary Parish on the morning of December 10.
Starks was booked into St. Mary Parish Jail. He will be extradited to New Orleans to face charges. The charges include:
- 8 Counts of Attempted Second-Degree Murder
- Illegal Carrying and Discharge of a Weapon
- Obstruction of Justice
3. LaBryson Polidore Was Shot In the Foot & Received Medical Treatment Five Days After the Shooting
LaBryson Polidore was arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana around midnight on December 11, 2019. Police said that he was taken into custody by the NOPD Violent Offenders Warrant Squad and U.S. Marshals, and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Polidore was injured during the Canal Street confrontation on December 1. He was shot in the foot but waited several days before seeking medical treatment. Polidore checked himself into a medical facility in St. Mary Parish five days after the confrontation.
Like Starks, Polidore will also face charges for illegal carrying and discharge of a weapon, along with obstruction of justice. He will face 10 counts for attempted second-degree murder.
4. A Gun Was Recovered At the Scene Among the Victims But Investigators Were Unclear Whether That Person Had Attempted to Fire It
Early on in the investigation, the New Orleans Police Department had shared that a person of interest had been detained at the scene and was being questioned. But within hours, officers clarified that this person was not considered a suspect and had been released.
Police have further clarified that this person had been carrying a gun. But it was not clear whether this victim had attempted to pull the weapon during the melee. Police have confirmed that this specific gun had not been fired.
A total of 10 victims were identified from the scene. They included 5 men and five women. One of the victims was 16 years old. The rest were between the ages of 21 and 36 and all were expected to recover from their injuries.
An 11th shooting victim, a 23-year-old man, received medical treatment for a gunshot wound several days after the incident. The 12th victim turned out to be LaBryson Polidore.
Detectives are working to determine if any of the victims were connected to either Polidore or Stafford Starks.
5. Police Chief: The Investigation Remains Fluid & More Arrests May Be Made
New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson has reiterated that the investigation into this shooting remains “fluid.” He has stated that investigators have not yet ruled out the possibility that there were additional shooters.
The Louisiana State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the ATF and the FBI are all assisting with the investigation. The Jeanerette City Marshal Service and Franklin Police Department were also credited with helping to identify LaBryson Polidore and Stafford Starks.
Ferguson and other officials including Mayor LaToya Cantrell stressed during the December 10 news conference that “cowardly” acts like the one that happened on Canal Street would “not be tolerated” in New Orleans.