New Orleans police identify suspect in shooting that wounded 17

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

One suspect in Bunny Friend Park mass shooting ID’d, to be booked on 17 counts of attempted murder.

NEW ORLEANS — Police on Monday sought to determine what touched off a wild shootout in a crowd of hundreds of people at a New Orleans playground, where an evening of fun at a block party swiftly turned into a nightmare.Joseph “Moe” Allen, the man New Orleans police named Friday as the first confirmed suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at Bunny Friend Park, has ties to “more than one organization,” NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said, hinting at a possible gang motive for the shooting spree that left 17 people wounded as bullets sprayed through a frantic block party crowd. The shootout, combined with the recent shooting of a good Samaritan who tried to help a woman who was being dragged toward a vehicle, put a city that has long struggled with violence on edge. Scott’s younger brothers opened fire on a Mother’s Day second-line parade in 2013, injuring 20 — but, just as in this week’s melee, killing no one.

At a news conference Friday afternoon with Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Harrison declined to spell out a motive or say how many shooters police believe opened fire about 6:15 p.m. He and Landrieu pleaded for witnesses to come forward with video or other evidence, while warning of criminal consequences for anyone hiding the shooters. “This is not a game and we are absolutely not playing with you,” Harrison said. “We need video.

Harrison said most of the victims were in good to fair condition Friday, with one or two still dealing with “pretty critical” but not life-threatening injuries. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure the other shoes drop as well,” the mayor said. “This is a great first step. Allen’s criminal history includes a no contest plea to a 2010 carjacking, for which he received a five-year prison sentence; a home invasion charge from that same year on which a judge found him not guilty; a heroin possession charge in 2009, to which he pleaded guilty and received an eight-year sentence in 2012; a weapons possession count from 2008 that was dismissed; and various earlier drug charges. Court records show that a judge two years ago amended his sentence to make him eligible for work release and other programs through the state corrections department. Among them was the 2002 cocaine charge for which his co-defendant was Travis Scott, the older brother of Akein “Keemy” Scott and Shawn “Shizzle” Scott, who together pleaded guilty in September to racketeering charges and other counts from a federal indictment centered on the Mother’s Day 2013 mass shooting.

Travis Scott was accused of leading a cocaine and heroin ring — supported by gun violence that included numerous attempted murders — out of the Frenchmen Meat Market. Surveillance video released by police showed the man shooting the student in the abdomen and then standing over him and trying to shoot again, but the gun jammed. Chris Goodly declined to say Friday whether Allen is related to a Central City family of the same surname, several members of which were recently convicted in federal court in a major drug-dealing conspiracy prosecution.

The staffing levels mean police are not able to do the community policing that is necessary to build bonds with citizens and get a sense of tensions building up before violence erupts, Sharf said. “The things that the research says work we haven’t really done in quite a while,” he said. “Getting the pulse of the neighborhood is the art of neighborhood policing.”

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