May 252016
 
Robberies from May 19 and May 23. (map via NOPD)

Robberies from May 19 and May 23. (map via NOPD)

Detectives have made connections between two recent robberies — one in west Carrollton, and the other in Fontainebleau — and are hoping the public can help find surveillance video of one of the suspects who was wearing an unusually distinctive hooded sweatshirt, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

May 252016
 
(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

Gunfire broke out on Olive Street just off South Carrollton again on Tuesday night — the third shooting in the Carrollton area since the weekend — though no one was injured, New Orleans police said.

Investigators have also released new details about Sunday’s shooting that injured four people outside a Hollygrove club, and are directing patrol officers to pay particular attention to the area amid the likelihood of retaliatory violence. Continue reading »

May 232016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Long ago, the law respecting the idea of sanctuary was embedded in British common law. Fugitives would be immune from arrest in sacred places, such as places of worship. You’ve probably seen a movie where some neer-do-well runs into a church with police on his heels and yells “sanctuary,” as though he’s discovered some trump card against getting caught.

However, sanctuary wasn’t quite the unequivocal boon to absconding felons as it would first appear. If he made it inside a church, the fugitive would then have 40 days to surrender to secular authorities or confess their crimes and be subject to forfeiture of their worldly possessions and permanent exile, i.e., “abjure the realm.” Continue reading »

May 192016
 

Geno Oliver (via NOPD)

Geno Oliver (via NOPD)

New Orleans police have identified the man they say shot a woman in the neck during a robbery last week on Fontainebleau Drive, and they are seeking the public’s help finding him.

Meanwhile, the gunman in a separate armed robbery on Delachaise Street in Broadmoor abandoned the car he arrived in at the scene, police say. Continue reading »

May 102016
 
(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

The U.S. Postal Service is now joining the investigation into the attempted armed robbery of a mail carrier on State Street Drive, New Orleans police said.

Meanwhile, NOPD detectives have determined that the gunman in a robbery just off South Carrollton had previously been involved in a hit-and-run nearby moments before, police said. Continue reading »

May 092016
 
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison, Commander Doug Eckert and Sgt. Andrew Waldron discuss the May 7 fatal shooting of Thomas Rolfes in a Monday afternoon news conference. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison, Commander Doug Eckert and Sgt. Andrew Waldron discuss the May 7 fatal shooting of Thomas Rolfes in a Monday afternoon news conference. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans police still have a number of unanswered questions about the fatal shooting early Saturday of a Tulane graduate in town scouting wedding locations, but they believe that his death was the result of a robbery, said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison.

Thomas Rolfes, 25, was a 2011 graduate of Tulane University who had flown back to New Orleans on Friday for the weekend with his fiancee to scout locations for their wedding, Harrison said at a news conference Monday afternoon. The couple took separate flights, and Rolfes went out drinking with friends after he arrived, while his fiancee opted to go on to bed in their hotel room, Harrison said.

Rolfes is known to have been at Ms. Mae’s bar on Magazine Street earlier in the night, but surveillance video from a gas station on South Claiborne Avenue shows the young man making purchases around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7, Harrison said. About an hour later, his body was discovered on nearby Amelia Street with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest, Harrison said.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong in that unexplained last hour of Rolfes’ life, Harrison said. His hands were injured in ways that suggest a struggle, and his wallet was missing, Harrison said.

“The motive was robbery,” Harrison said. “At some point, the robbery turned deadly.”

Among the unanswered questions that investigators are focusing on is how Rolfes got from the bar on Magazine Street to the gas station on South Claiborne without a vehicle, Harrison said. The surveillance video also shows Rolfes buying two bottles of water, raising the possibility that one of them might have been for someone else with him, Harrison said.

No gunfire was reported in the area between the time of Rolfes’ purchases and the discovery of his body, Harrison said.

“There is a gap in the time about what we know about Point A and Point B,” Harrison said.

While investigators have found “multiple” surveillance videos related to the case, they are asking residents all over Uptown to review their own cameras for anything that might help, says Sgt. Andrew Waldron. Anyone with information is urged to call the NOPD Homicide Division at 658-658-5300 to speak to a detective, or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.

Rolfes is the 40th murder victim recorded in the city of New Orleans this year (as defined by the FBI, which tracks crime statistics). Harrison said that the figure remains down by 33 percent compared to last year, but is still far too high (a city of New Orleans’ size with a “normal” murder rate would have 40 homicides a year) — a point painfully driven home every time he has to meet with the families of murder victims, as he did this morning with Rolfes’ parents and fiancee.

“They are devastated over this tragic incident, and they can’t understand why this happened,” Harrison said. “As the chief, I can tell you that these conversations are never easy. No one should have to go through losing a child.”

To read our live coverage of the news conference, see below:

Live Blog NOPD news conference on South Claiborne homicide – May 9, 2016
 

May 092016
 

Carjacking on South Miro; attempted armed robbery on State Street Drive. Not shown: armed robbery on Felicity. (map via NOPD)

Carjacking on South Miro; attempted armed robbery on State Street Drive. Not shown: armed robbery on Felicity. (map via NOPD)

A 17-year-old was carjacked and beaten by two acquaintances in Broadmoor on Friday evening, an armed robbery was reported near Fontainebleau, and a bicyclist was robbed at gunpoint a few hours later in Central City, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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May 092016
 
(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

A 25-year-old man found with a fatal gunshot wound early Saturday morning near South Claiborne Avenue has been identified as a 2011 graduate of Tulane University who had returned to New Orleans to look for wedding locations, according to New Orleans police and media reports. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on South Claiborne shooting victim identified as Tulane grad in town to scout wedding locations