NOPD seeks second man, requests video footage
After one man suspected in Sunday’s Bourbon Street shooting was arrested Friday in southern Mississippi, authorities were asking for help finding a second man.
The second, unknown gunman is believed to have run along Bourbon toward Esplanade Avenue and then turned toward North Rampart Street after the shooting, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
People or businesses in that area that have surveillance cameras are asked to review their footage from around the time of the shooting. Anyone with video that might be of assistance to police is asked to email email@example.com.
Trung T. Le, 20, of Belle Chasse, arrested Friday, faces one charge of first-degree murder and nine counts of attempted first-degree murder.
The other gunman remained unknown and at large.
The arrest was the first major break in the case that had seen police interview two “persons of interest” who were later booked on unrelated outstanding warrants.
Serpas said investigators believe Le fired the first shots in an exchange of gunfire that killed 21-year-old Brittany Thomas and wounded nine other people about 2:45 a.m. Sunday near Bourbon and Orleans streets.
Serpas said detectives do not yet know whether Le — who also goes by “Joe” — and the other gunman knew each other. He declined to provide details about what evidence led police to identify Le as a suspect.
U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Garrett Hawk said Le was arrested in unincorporated Gulfport, Mississippi. He will soon be extradited to New Orleans, Serpas said.
Marshals and a New Orleans police warrant squad found Le at a friend’s home, Hawk said. That friend did not know of his wanted status, according to Hawk.
Le was taken into custody without incident a little after 3:30 p.m., Hawk said.
While police continued their hunt for the other gunman, Serpas said they also are searching for associates of Le who might have information about the incident.
“I strongly urge those people to come forward, because an accessory-after-the-fact (charge) is a serious charge,” Serpas said.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu reiterated a vow to find and arrest anyone associated with the shooting.
“We owe it to the families who have been decimated by this horrific event. We owe it to the community,” the mayor said. “Today is a great first step. We are not finished ... and we will not stop until we make sure that everybody is brought to justice.”
Le has no prior criminal record in New Orleans, but Serpas said he has a record in Plaquemines Parish. Details about arrests there were not immediately available.
He has several arrests in Jefferson Parish for minor traffic and theft violations.
He pleaded guilty in January 2013 to marijuana possession and traffic charges that stemmed from a traffic stop in Terrytown in November 2011, according to court documents.
Earlier Friday, police said they had questioned a second “person of interest” in connection with the Bourbon Street shootings.
According to Officer Frank Robertson, a spokesman for the department, the man was arrested on outstanding warrants and transported to Orleans Parish Prison.
Robertson declined to name the man, citing “the complexity of this ongoing investigation” in an emailed statement.
He said the man was not charged with the shooting.
The man was one of two persons of interest that police released photographs of late Thursday.
Robertson said the second man, who had dreadlocks and was wearing a cap, is no longer a person of interest.
The incident has garnered national media attention and put the thinning ranks of the New Orleans Police Department in the spotlight.
Landrieu on Tuesday requested 100 Louisiana state troopers to increase police presence in the city. That plea was met halfway by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who assigned 50 troopers to patrol the city until Labor Day weekend.
Justin Odom, 20, was interviewed by detectives on Wednesday. He was arrested on outstanding theft and traffic warrants and released Thursday from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
He was not charged in the shooting. According to his attorney, Gregory Thompson, he is not a suspect.