Suspect booked in Metairie double murder, and other N.O.-area police news

Suspect booked in Metairie double killing

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested one man and are searching for two others in connection with a double murder late last month in Metairie.

Garard “Herc” Achelles, 27, of New Orleans was booked Friday with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Demektric Anderson-Whitfield and Tacara Williams, said Col. John Fortunato, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Investigators continue to search for Glenn “Ace” Lemon, 30, of Jefferson and Jason “Jay” Thomas of New Orleans. Warrants for second-degree murder have been issued for their arrests, Fortunato said.

Whitfield and Williams, both of Memphis, Tenn., were shot early Dec. 30 during a botched drug deal at an apartment complex on Pasadena Avenue near the Interstate 10 service road, authorities said. A third person in the car at the time of the shooting was not injured.

Anyone with information about Lemon’s or Thomas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Eddie Klein or Detective Thomas Gai at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Texas man ID’d as first homicide victim of ’14

A man shot to death on New Year’s Day in New Orleans has been identified as Joseph Istre, 47, of Galveston, Texas.

Istre had been living in the city for about a month before his death, said John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator.

Someone shot Istre once in the chest about 10 a.m. Wednesday in the 2300 block of North Prieur Street, police said. Police have not identified a motive or a suspect in his killing.

St. Bernard deputies find stolen truck in N.O.

A pickup stolen from Arabi was found Thursday night in New Orleans after the men who took it drove it into the city before making their escape on foot, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

The truck was stolen about 8:30 p.m. after its owner left it running outside a store when he went inside to buy milk, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Fortunately, no child was left inside, which would have made it much worse,” Sheriff James Pohlmann said. “But it is a reminder to lock your doors and remove the keys before leaving a vehicle parked outside.”

Deputies found the truck on Tennessee Street, near North Robertson Street in New Orleans.

Nothing was reported stolen from the truck, but there was damage to a tail light, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Suspected booked in fatal N.O. East shooting

A teenager suspected of gunning down a 33-year-old man last month in New Orleans East has been arrested in the slaying.

Tracy Bell, 17, surrendered to police on Friday and was booked with one count of second-degree murder, said Officer Frank Robertson, a Police Department spokesman.

Police allege Bell killed Emmanuel Jethro and wounded two other people about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in the parking lot of a business in the 11900 block of Hayne Boulevard.

The victims drove to a hospital, where Jethro died at 8:05 p.m. The other victims — ages 17 and 20 — had wounds that were not serious, police said.

Police have not identified a motive for the shooting.

First responders debut new tools, vehicles

Officials from the New Orleans fire and police departments and Emergency Medical Services on Friday debuted dozens of new crime-fighting tools, fire-safety devices and vehicles that will be used to help protect the city.

Flanked by representatives of the city’s public safety services, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the NOPD has 100 new sport utility vehicles on the streets to help replace aging sedans. Another 100 SUVs are on the way, he said.

Twenty-five new ambulances have been deployed for New Orleans EMS, and the NOFD has a new boat designed specifically for a biological or chemical disaster.

The NOFD, NOPD and New Orleans EMS each also have new mobile command units, the bus-like vehicles often seen leading Carnival parades.

In addition to the vehicles, the NOPD will soon begin to use 420 body cameras that Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said will provide an “unvarnished” look at officers’ interactions with the public. The cameras will be shared among officers, rather than giving each one his own camera.

The NOPD also will soon start using new Tasers that include high-definition color video and audio that begin to record whenever the stun gun is discharged.

The NOFD, in addition to its new vehicles, also has new thermal-imaging cameras that can help firefighters find fires before they enter a building, as well as help them locate hidden fires — such as behind walls — they might otherwise miss, said Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell.

The city did not provide the cost for the new vehicles and equipment, but officials said Friday it was paid for through a combination of city funds and grants.

Man shot in abdomen Friday in Carrollton area

A man was shot in the abdomen Friday afternoon in the Carrollton area, New Orleans police said.

The shooting happened about 3:50 p.m. near Eagle and Hickory streets, said Officer Frank Robertson, a Police Department spokesman.

The victim’s condition was not immediately available.