SWAT standoff began after ‘dazed and confused’ man shot friend, police say

Police said the shooter who opened fire inside the Westin Canal Place Hotel in New Orleans on Sunday, prompting a standoff with a SWAT team, appeared to be under the influence of “some unknown substance” at the time.

The shooting, which left one man injured and the gunman himself dead of a self-inflicted wound, happened among a group of friends in their 20s who were visiting New Orleans from Lafayette, according to a police narrative released late Sunday.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office identified the dead man as Bajkanwar Aulakh.

Police said one of the men described waking up inside the room on the 17th floor at about 5 a.m. after a night of partying in the French Quarter to find Aulakh pointing a pistol at another man. The witness told police that Aulakh looked “dazed and confused.”

At some point Aulakh shot his friend in the chest, according to police, and the two other men present fled the room.

Police arrived and found a 24-year-old man on the floor, at which point Aulakh pointed his pistol at the officers, who fell back and called for the SWAT team. The entire floor was evacuated.

A SWAT team made its way into the room at about 9:30 a.m. after hearing another gunshot.

They found Aulakh unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 24-year-old man was rushed to the hospital. He also had a gunshot wound to his chest but was in stable condition, police said.

The Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of Aulakh’s death. Toxicology tests are pending.

Police said they found two pistols in the hotel room during the investigation.

Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.