Police said Claus was taken to University Medical Center and is now listed in serious but stable condition. No suspects are in custody.
A group of locals leaving an area bar discovered the no-longer-jolly old elf around 11 p.m. in the 700 block of Carondelet with a gunshot wound to the chest. His empty sack was found in a dumpster on a nearby street.
Jesse Landry, the first person to find the wounded Claus, didn’t know it was him at first.
“We were walking back to our car after leaving the bar and there he was laying in the street clutching his chest. I had no clue it was Santa. His clothes were tarnished with ashes and soot,” said Landry.
Landry reportedly used Uber to get Claus to the hospital instead of relying on 911.
“I’ve heard if you call 911 the waiting time for help to arrive can be the next day — he didn’t have an hour. I wasn’t going to go down in history as the one who let Santa die,” Landry said.
With Santa expected to be in the hospital for at least a week and recovering for a couple of months, thoughts quickly turned to how his injury will affect Christmas.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell called an emergency meeting this afternoon with new interim Superintendent of the NOPD Michelle Woodfork and other officials from across the area to discuss how the world should proceed with celebrating the holiday season.
The city, which has experience with moving holidays after pushing Halloween 2015 up by a day due to inclement weather, has decided it is in the world’s best interest to shelve Christmas this week.
“Should the doctor’s projected recovery time for Mr. Claus hold, it is my and other officials’ recommendation that Christmas this year should be postponed and rescheduled to be celebrated in February when Santa is back to full health,” said Cantrell. “With the potential great disappointment of children around the world, we simply cannot ask parents and other adults to continue their holiday traditions as usual.”
Santa, who was in New Orleans for a Christmas party to help de-stress before the big day, reportedly gave his sack over to the robber who became irate when discovering it only contained pieces of coal. When Claus said he didn’t have anything to give him, the robber said he didn’t believe in him and shot the jolly old elf.
Former New Orleans mayor and best-selling author Mitch Landrieu reached out to Neutral Ground News to share his thoughts. According to the intern we gave the phone to, Landrieu agrees with city leadership that Christmas be rescheduled for February but also said he believes this incident presents an opportunity to review the centuries-old holiday for how it relates to today’s world.
The one-time presidential candidate went on to even suggest possibly removing Christmas from the calendar altogether as many citizens around the world do not celebrate the day.
“Christmas does not necessarily reflect who we all are as a people. As a society. As one species. To many throughout the world, it is a day of exclusion and favoritism. It needs to be looked at,” said Landrieu.
While many people are disappointed that Christmas will not take place as usual on December 25th, Metairie resident Peter Cooper says he’s relieved more than anything.
“My wife used to do all the shopping, but we’re divorced now and I still have to get presents. So, at least, this gives me a little more time to put it off,” Cooper said. “I wrap gifts about as well as a toddler, so any additional time is definitely welcomed.”
Police have released a description of the suspect saying he, she, or it is Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic, stands between 4’9″ and 6’7″, weighs approximately 100-250 pounds, may or may not have a tattoo, scar, or other identifying marks, and should be considered extremely naughty.
Anyone with information that can be persuaded to share it because there is a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers.