Investigators say 380,000 fatal shootings occurred within a six-hour period last night that stretched from Uptown to New Orleans East and ultimately claimed the lives of every person living in Orleans Parish.
“Unfortunately, we’re going to be burying the entire city after this mess,” said Cordelle Garrett, the special agent in charge of the investigation. “On the plus side, next year’s murders number should be down significantly.”
FBI agents from the Baton Rouge headquarters had to assume command of the investigation as the only remaining officers from the New Orleans Police Department were still working to complete a backlog of calls from last fall.
“Department policy is first-come, first served, and we’re working through August 2016 calls right now. Our hands are tied,” Officer Darnell Harrelson, a resident of Metairie, said.
Investigators, who admittedly don’t have any leads, urge anyone with information to come forward.
“No one is talking. We’ve hit a dead end, literally,” said Garrett. “We’re working closely with the mayor’s office to piece together what happened and know it’s just a matter of time before we catch a break. I mean, at least one of the city’s crime cameras has to be operational, right?”
Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who set benchmarks for her police chief to address the city’s violence, said there is a misperception in the media regarding crime.
“The media is looking at inaccurate data,” said Cantrell. “Former Mayor Landrieu clearly addressed crime last year with his ground-breaking violence initiative, which has since had a significant impact in reducing violence. But, of course, it doesn’t fit their agenda so they don’t report on it as much as they should.”
Cantrell continued by pointing out that her bold, effective tactics may ruffle some feathers, which she believes has led to his administration being unfairly viewed.
“It occurs to me all time when we have difficult circumstances, when people get afraid, get uneasy with each other, we tend to point fingers. But blame is a pathway to nowhere… Media.”
Former 30-year New Orleans resident Bob Brister, who now lives in Mandeville, understands crime is a fact of life but disagrees it’s inevitable.
“High levels of crime is something all major cities have to deal with. What Mayor Cantrell fails to see is that New Orleans hasn’t been a major city since before the Saints stunk up the joint for about 20 years straight.”