NOPD: Suspect in Mother’s Day shootings arrested

Akein Scott
Akein Scott

Police late Wednesday arrested 19-year-old Akein Scott, the alleged gunman in a Mother’s Day shooting that injured 19 people Sunday.

Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said authorities found Scott in the Little Woods neighborhood in eastern New Orleans shortly after 10 p.m.

Scott, an accused gangster, posted bond and was released from Orleans Parish Prison less than two weeks before Sunday’s shooting during a Mother’s Day parade in the 7th Ward. Four people remain hospitalized, three in critical condition and one in stable condition.

Two months earlier, on March 5, Scott was caught at a 7th Ward corner store, allegedly carrying a handgun with an extended clip and a bag of heroin.

Scott, 19, was originally held on a $35,000 bond, but released April 30 on a $15,000 one. Before Wednesday’s arrest, Scott had been scheduled to appear in court on Thursday in that case.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu earlier this week called Scott’s bond “a mistake.”

The mayor months ago asked Orleans Parish judges to set bonds of at least $30,000 for those held on gun crimes.

“He may have gotten out on bond anyway, but ... when people are caught with illegal weapons, especially in possession of drugs, they must be handled in the most serious way as potential threats to the community,” Landrieu said Tuesday.

Scott did not have a lengthy criminal history — he had been arrested twice before. In early 2012, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor simple battery charge.

Around the same time, Scott was in a car stopped by the Louisiana State Police in February 2012. Troopers discovered a gun, stolen three years earlier from Slidell, inside the car. Scott, who at the time was a senior at Miller-McCoy Academy, was booked with illegal possession of a stolen firearm.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office in April 2012 decided a conviction would be difficult and declined to pursue that charge.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Tuesday investigators now believe that Scott is a member of a street gang.

While Scott has a MySpace page that lists his name as “Hard Head” Akein — perhaps a reference to the 7th Ward Hard Heads gang — Serpas said it was not yet clear if Scott was part of that gang. Some people shuttle among groups, Serpas said, and investigators still had not pinned down Scott’s gang affiliation.

Serpas said Monday night that SWAT officers and U.S. Marshals Service searched a home in the 3600 block of South Roman Street to look for Scott and evidence in the case.

Police also searched two blocks of Frenchmen Street near the scene of Sunday’s shooting since Scott “frequented that area for a lot of different reasons,” Serpas said.

Cannizzaro said Tuesday that Scott could face charges of aggravated battery, attempted second-degree murder or attempted first-degree murder.

The shootings made national news and CrimeStoppers had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Scott’s arrest.