New Orleans — The celebration of the new year in New Orleans was marred by some very familiar violence, as police investigated a rash of violent crime during the holiday, including four homicides in two days.
The burst of violence began just moments after New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas expressed confidence that police were gaining traction in the pushback against crime on New Year’s Eve.
Police investigated two homicides in a one-hour period that pushed the city’s annual homicide total up to 193. That was six fewer than reported in 2011.
The violence continued New Year’s Day when police investigated two more homicides, including the stabbing of an elderly man who was found dead inside his Mid-City apartment.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated a shooting in Avondale on New Year’s Day and a stabbing in Metairie.
Edward Richardson, 83, was found dead inside his apartment Tuesday evening by a relative who went to the location to check on him, according to police. Richardson lived at a senior living apartment complex in the 3600 block of Tulane Avenue that has restricted vehicle and pedestrian access.
Police said that when a relative couldn’t reach Richardson, the relative found a security guard who opened Richardson’s apartment. Richardson was found with multiple stab wounds, but it was unclear exactly when he died. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office is investigating the incident.
Attempts to reach relatives of Richardson were unsuccessful on Wednesday.
Richardson was the second homicide of New Year’s Day, as police already had investigated the death of Anthony Llovet, 28, in the 2300 block of Dreux Street. Llovet was found dead inside the home he shared with his parents around 9:10 a.m.
Llovet also was discovered by a family member. His parents declined to comment Wednesday on Llovet’s death.
Police have not released a motive in the deaths of Llovet or Richardson.
Detectives still are investigating the fatal shootings of Eric Hatley, 24, in Algiers on New Year’s Eve, and Jared Haynes, 21, in the 9th Ward later that day. Hatley was killed around 1:10 p.m. in the 2000 block of Cypress Acres Drive at the same time that Serpas was holding a news conference discussing the city’s violence reduction plans. Haynes was killed about 50 minutes later, near the intersection of North Dorgenois and Mazant streets.
Police said Hatley was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the body inside a white Chevrolet Camaro in the parking lot of an apartment complex. No other information was released, but that dilapidated apartment complex has been the site of multiple shootings in recent years.
In Haynes’ homicide, police found him lying in the street, and authorities also said they found a stolen handgun on his person.
Haynes’ father declined to comment Wednesday, citing the family’s desire for privacy.
In addition to the homicides, police also investigated multiple nonfatal shootings, several stabbings and other serious incidents during the holiday.
On New Year’s Day, police handled three nonfatal shootings, the first on Canal Street, then Foucher Street and finally Eastern Street.
The shooting on Eastern Street happened only a few blocks from where Llovet was found earlier that day, while the Canal Street shooting happened in the midst of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In that incident, a fight broke out around 1:57 a.m. in the 300 block of Canal Street in front of the Canal Place shopping center. At some point during the melee, someone began shooting, and a man fleeing from the incident was shot once in the buttocks.
Police are looking for a “person of interest” in that shooting, and are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Edwin Patterson, 19.
The victim’s injuries were not considered life-threatening.
On Foucher Street, police said, a man was sitting on a porch around 10:35 p.m. when an unidentified man walked up to him through an alley. The suspect shot at the victim, striking him once in the leg.
Police said three men were standing in the 4400 block of Eastern Street when they heard gunshots just before midnight. The men began running, when the victim collapsed and realized he’d been shot in the back.
Early Wednesday morning, police investigated a shooting in the 1700 block of Abundance Street. According to police, two men were at home when the doorbell rang shortly before 1:30 a.m. One of the men opened the door and several shots were fired into the home, striking both victims, according to police.
No motives or suspects have been released in any of the homicides or shootings.
Police also are investigating the death of a woman found dead Tuesday at the foot of a staircase in the 6500 block of Coveview Court in eastern New Orleans.
Police said the woman had a broken neck, but John Gagliano, the chief investigator for the Coroner’s Office, said an autopsy on the woman had not been completed and her cause of death was unknown.
Anyone with any information on the crimes can contact Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.