An employee of the Dat Dog on Freret Street was shot Monday morning by a masked man attempting to rob the popular restaurant before it opened, police said.
Several employees were inside the store around 10:30 a.m. preparing to open when a masked man with a gun walked in and demanded money, said Officer Frank Roberston, a NOPD spokesman. The employee was reluctant to give the money up, and the gunman shot him once in the right shoulder, Robertson said.
Dat Dog planned to remain closed Monday. Constantine Georges, one of the owners, said he understood the wound to be minor, and that his employee is expected to make a full recovery.
“One’s always concerned about anything like that, but whatever the reason, God was good to us,” Georges said as he prepared to drive to the hospital.
Police officials said they hope to release video surveillance images of a suspect soon, and business owners and neighbors noted the large number of video cameras on the surrounding streets. Monday’s shooting was the first time the violence that occasionally flares up in the neighborhood has reached the commercial corridor since the fatal shooting of Errol Meeks in front of the now-shuttered Friar Tucks nightclub nearly two years ago.
“This was an isolated incident, and hopefully it will be resolved quickly,” said Kellie Grengs, a board member of The New Freret business and property owners association.
Numerous detectives from the NOPD Second District were on the scene and walking through the neighborhood, and Commander Paul Noel vowed to make the investigation a priority. He noted that homicide detectives are still actively investigating the killing of a cab driver in an apparent robbery on South Claiborne from only about 12 hours earlier.
“Nothing disgusts me more than these robberies like this,” Noel said.