NEW ORLEANS (AP) – One of the 10 victims of a weekend shooting on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street died Wednesday.
Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson asked for a moment of silence after announcing the death of the 21-year-old woman from Hammond. A spokesman for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office later Wednesday confirmed the woman had died but did not release her name.
Edmonson spoke at a news conference to discuss Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s request for a permanent contingent of troopers to help with law enforcement in New Orleans.
Edmonson said state police doesn’t have the manpower to put a permanent contingent of 100 troopers in New Orleans. However, he said he is looking at re-deploying the approximately 45 people already assigned to New Orleans as the city comes to grips with Sunday’s deadly shooting in the French Quarter.
Landrieu had asked for the extra police presence to help the city’s police force following the early Sunday shooting. Ten people, most of them visitors to the city, were hit.
In addition to the woman who died, three others were reported in stable condition: a 35-year-old man from Mississippi, a 19-year-old Arkansas woman and an 18-year-old New Orleans man.
LSU Interim Hospital spokeswoman Siona LaFrance said Wednesday a 21-year-old Australian woman was released from the hospital.
Other victims, not hospitalized, included two New Orleans-area men; a teenage girl and a woman from Alabama; and a Florida man.
No arrests have been made.
Police have identified a 20-year-old man as a person of interest in the shooting and are asking the public for help finding Justin Odom, who is wanted in Jefferson Parish, said Officer Hilal Williams, a New Orleans police spokeswoman. Col. John Fortunato, of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Odom is wanted only on outstanding traffic counts.
Police said Odom was identified from photographs released earlier. In addition, police said they’re looking for one of Odom’s associates named Josh or Joe, also described as a person of interest.
They asked the public to send any photos or videos either of the shooting or taken the night of the shooting to NOPDTIPSnola.gov. Investigators don’t want only images taken around the time of the shooting, but those from a broader time range, Williams said.
The Australian woman, identified by The West Australian as Amy Williams, of Mount Hawthorn, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia, did not immediately respond Wednesday to messages sent via her Facebook page or “Repair Amy’s smile,” a Facebook page created to raise money to reconstruct her teeth.
She told the newspaper that all or part of a bullet went in through her right cheek and out through her top lip, knocking out most of her teeth, burning her gums and requiring 30 stitches in her tongue and a metal support for the roof of her mouth.
The shootings happened at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, as tourists walked the historic street of century-old, neon-bedecked buildings, housing bars, restaurants, shops and strip clubs in the heart of the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas has said that nine officers – four on foot and five on horseback – were assigned to Bourbon Street at that time and officers arrived within seconds.
Even so, Serpas and Landrieu both said they would like to see the city police force, now around 1,200 after years of attrition, beefed up to around 1,600.
Serpas said overtime and people from other parts of the department will put 500 extra officers on duty in key spots as thousands of visitors hit town for the annual Essence Festival, which begins Thursday.
State police also will be helping with Essence security.
Edmonson spoke to reporters before briefing a temporary contingent of 30 troopers brought in for the annual festival, which draws thousands of tourists during the Independence Day weekend.
State police often supplement city police with extra troopers during special events such as Mardi Gras or Super Bowls. Edmonson said the state doesn’t usually bring in extra troopers during Essence, but the decision was made to do so after Sunday’s shooting.
As for Landrieu’s request for a 100-person permanent contingent, Edmonson said he has to keep other areas of the state in mind. “I’d have to take them from somewhere else,” he said.
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