by Allen Powell II
New Orleans bureau
February 18, 2013
River Ridge — A shooting in River Ridge on Thursday morning left a Kenner man in critical condition, and it came on the same day that Jefferson Parish’s first homicide victim of 2013 was buried.
Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies were called out to South Cumberland Street and Newton Street at about 9 a.m. after receiving multiple reports of gunfire in the area from concerned residents, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.
He said deputies found a 27-year-old man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the body, and the victim was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
Fortunato said that given the severity of the victim’s wounds, the shooting could turn fatal.
“The guy has multiple gunshot wounds,” Fortunato said.
No motive or suspects were identified in the shooting, but deputies did recover a pistol and narcotics on the victim, said Glen Boyd, a sheriff’s spokesman. Several spent shell casings and other evidence also was collected.
Authorities did not know what the victim, whose last known address was in Kenner, was doing in the neighborhood just north of Jefferson Highway.
Residents in the community said they didn’t know the victim and declined to discuss the shooting.
The shooting required the partial closure of several streets, which came as many of the residents were trying to get to a funeral in Kenner for the parish’s first homicide victim of the year, Brandon Joseph, 24.
Joseph died Feb. 9 after being dropped off at a Kenner hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Kenner police still have not determined where Joseph was shot, although investigators are testing DNA gathered at one location in the city, said Sgt. Brian McGregor, a Kenner public information officer.
Joseph’s funeral was held at Oakland Baptist Church in Kenner, and mourners thronged to the location on Rev. Richard Wilson Drive Thursday morning.
However, Kenner police also were out in force with several patrol vehicles and unmarked vehicles parked or patrolling along the street during the service.
McGregor said that police received reports that there might be a retaliatory shooting outside of the service and wanted to be stationed there to prevent it.
“We didn’t want a shooting in Kenner,” McGregor said.
Fortunato said there is no current evidence that Thursday’s shooting and Joseph’s death are related, although Joseph was well-known in the area where Thursday’s victim was shot.
He did say investigators are examining every possibility.
“We have no evidence to lead us in that direction yet,” Fortunato said.
Attempts to reach the shooting victim’s relatives at several prior addresses were unsuccessful on Thursday.