Armored-truck guard shot to death during robbery at Uptown bank

Police seek three suspects

New Orleans police continued a search Wednesday night for three men who fatally shot an armored-truck guard making a delivery of money to a bank at a busy Uptown intersection during a brazen ambush in broad daylight.

The shooting that killed Hector Trochez, 45, happened about 10:45 a.m.

Trochez and at least one other guard for Loomis, an armored-truck service, were delivering money to the Chase Bank at South Claiborne and South Carrollton avenues when three men approached, said Officer Garry Flot, a Police Department spokesman.

Within moments, gunfire erupted. Trochez fell on his back, the men grabbed an undisclosed amount of cash, jumped into a Chevrolet Tahoe and fled.

Police found the SUV a short time later, hidden behind a home in the 1700 block of Adams Street, about 10 blocks from the bank. The men were gone.

Police said they left in a gray Hyundai with a temporary license plate that reads, in part, 141654.

Flot said police were trying to determine whether either vehicle was stolen.

The gunmen were described as black males, between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, who wore dark jackets and hooded sweatshirts. One of them might have a dreadlocks hairstyle, police said.

Paramedics’ efforts to save Trochez were futile. He died in the bank’s parking lot, steps away from his truck and behind a cart piled with boxes of change.

While police did not say whether Trochez tried to return fire, his holster appeared to be empty and a handgun lay on the ground next to him, marked with an evidence cone.

Although what appeared to be several dozen shell casings littered the parking lot, a single bullet could have killed Trochez, said John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator. An autopsy scheduled for Thursday will determine that.

No one else was injured during the shooting.

A relative of Trochez’s colleague who was with him during the delivery to the bank, however, said the news sent her into a panic.

Carolyn Treaudo Bell said she was able to calm down only after police told her that her niece, who was driving the armored truck, was not harmed.

“She’s just overwhelmed. She’s in grief,” Bell said of her niece. “She’s in terrible grief.”

Danny Pack, senior vice president of risk management for Loomis, declined to comment on the shooting, citing the open investigation. “We’re putting our resources on supporting the family,” he said.

A man who was in the bank transacting business shortly before 11 a.m. said he heard a series of gunshots in rapid succession.

“Whoever it was, they weren’t here to play,” said the man, who declined to give his name.

Joseph Jefferson is the lead homicide detective in the case. The FBI is working with the NOPD on the investigation.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.