Samuel Ash, 27, walked into the Cajun Seafood at the intersection around 4:20 p.m. Monday, April 13, ordered a shrimp plate, and walked it back to his white Hyundai SUV outside, according to a NOPD news release.
“Ash then walked back to the bus stop and immediately started firing gunshots into the crowd,” according to a NOPD news release. “As Ash attempted to flee, Street Gang Unit officers were driving up and observed him jumping into the SUV armed with a pistol.
“Ash drove off at a high rate of speed at which time a vehicular pursuit ensued,” the release continues. “Officers pursued Ash to the intersection of Tulane and South Miro Street where he subsequently crashed the SUV into a building.”
When the officers took Ash into custody, they found a loaded Glock .45-caliber pistol in the the front passenger’s side floor board of the SUV, as well as a small amount of marijuana, the release states. Witnesses identified him as the shooter, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries from the crash, the release states.
The three shooting victims were a 14-year-old girl, and two boys ages 16 and 17, the release states. The 16-year-old’s condition was listed as critical, and the other two were stable.
Ash is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, hit-and-run driving, flight from an officer and a variety of traffic violations, according to jail records. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison praised the work of the officers on scene in capturing him.
“In a matter of minutes, we were able to preserve the scene, restore order, tend to the victims and track down the suspect we believe is responsible for this heinous crime,” Harrison said in a news release. “Our officers performed exactly how they are trained to perform in these types of situations and I commend every officer who was involved in this swift response. Their decisive actions ensured no one else was hurt in the incident.”
Despite the commercial resurgence along South Broad Street, the intersection with Washington Avenue has remained plagued by violence — such as a volley of gunfire at a home just off the intersection in February. In 2013, two people were killed in separate shootings in March and May.