Fatal shooting outside troubled Freret Street bar

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Police guard the scene of a fatal shooting on Freret and Dufossat St., while mourning onlookers stand by late Monday night. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

A young man was gunned down late Monday night outside a Freret Street bar open in spite of a previous city sanction closing it for the month of January, police and acquaintances said.

The victim, a 19-year-old whose name has not yet been released, was inside Friar Tuck’s bar around 11 p.m. Monday when he was “summoned outside,” left the building and began walking toward a car he had left parked across the street, said Capt. Darryl Albert, commander of the NOPD Second District.

“When he got to the car, shots rang out,” Albert said, adding that either three or four rounds were fired.

The victim was a young man from the Freret neighborhood, said Henry Wade, a family friend who stood with mourning relatives throughout the investigation. He could often be found playing basketball in neighborhood pickup games or sitting on the porch with his grandmother, Wade said.

“He was a good kid, just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Wade said. “You’ve got no control over what other people want to do to you. He was just out having fun, like any other kid.”

Friar Tuck’s was originally slated to be shut down for most of January, as the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board in mid-November had ordered its liquor license suspended for 30 days beginning in early January, based on a police raid last summer that found the vast majority of bar patrons were under the age of 21 and drinking. Bar owner Jason Blitch had apparently appealed that order, however, allowing him to remain open this month, Albert said.

Officers on a routine visit to Friar Tuck’s earlier this month to check the status of the alcohol board’s order found a gun on one of the patrons, Albert noted.

The investigation into Monday night’s slaying should be aided by ample amounts of private video surveillance along the Freret business corridor, where police have previously said a number of homes and businesses are equipped with sophisticated camera systems. Even Friar Tuck’s has its own multi-angle camera system, as video from both inside and outside the bar figured prominently into its November hearings.

Freret Street was closed until about 2 a.m. for the investigation, drawing a large crowd of grieving onlookers on the downtown side of the crime scene. After midnight, the numbers of people on the street dwindled to about 15, mostly silent, speaking in whispers, or softly weeping while the police did their work.

Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

Police investigate a fatal shooting that occurred in front of Friar Tuck's on Freret and Dufossat St. late Monday night. The victim was shot after leaving Friar Tuck's, according to police. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Photos by Sabree Hill; article by Robert Morris. Contact us at sabreehill@NolaMessenger.com and rmorris@NolaMessenger.com, or post your comment below.

7 thoughts on “Fatal shooting outside troubled Freret Street bar

  1. So, so sad. I can’t imagine what its like for a family to lose their 19 year old, and not even have a chance to say goodbye.

    But maybe this will be the end of a bar that seems to have not been serving the neighborhood well lately. If it is true that it was serving 19 year olds again, after being suspended for that same violation just a few weeks ago — maybe its time to shut them down and let someone else buy the place who will add to the neighborhood instead of bringing more trouble.

    • This person was not in the establishment being served alcohol. He was a friend inside playing pool while someone was outside planning his future. He was not served alcohol and has never bought alcohol. He drank pineapple juice or cranberry juice and was just spending time with his friends when this occured. It is possible to frequent an establishment without purchasing alcohol. Everyone assumes that a person i a bar is drinking. This was not the case. I have stated that i have nothing to gain by saying otherwise.

  2. Unbelievable. Open, minors present, and a murder to boot.

    Note to self: Cure might expensive, but does offer less chance of homicide.

    • Minors present??? According to state law any individual eighteen years or older is allowed to enter any ABO establishment. Friar Tucks has been a “neighborhood establishment” not discriminating against anyone for the color of their skin or income. This situation is sad and a life was lost. To make an advertisement from it is low. There have been numerous murders in Freret St area over the years and one of which occurred in the area of The Cure. We can sit back all day and blame each other. I just don’t see the gains to be made. I have closed my business and I will gaurantee crime in the neighbor will continue until a community effort is made. I sad thing happened last night and nothing can be done to change that. If anyone would like to continue blaming each other for the problems than none of this will ever be solved. The people causing these crimes live in and were raised in the neighborhood. They did not come in from other areas of the city to commit these crimes. They came from down the street , or around the corner. It is hard to solve a crime problem in the neighborhood when the neighborhood is committing the crimes. Blame me if you must blame someone to make you feel better. I know what happened and am dealing with it on a level that nobody will ever understand. I am open to all comments but understand that sticking together and solving these problems as a community is the only answer. The only person who can be blamed for taking a life is the person who took it.

      • I don’t think that this has anything to do with the minors drinking or this bar. I think this just goes as a reminder that we’re still living in a dangerous city, and that a little extra paint on a shady neighborhood doesn’t make it any safer.
        What could help this situation? Maybe more law enforcement in these parts of the city that are somewhat questionable. Catch the criminals.

      • I was probably a bit too flippant in my initial comment. I was not attempting to cast blame, but express my surprise and dismay that this bar again found itself in the middle of controversy. I certainly was not aware that bars had to let in anyone over 18 (to be honest this makes no sense to me).

        To Jason, I will add that I agree with many of the things you said here and elsewhere that Friar Tucks was not the real problem, but the overall neighborhood itself.

  3. To all commenting on this page and future readers…………..

    First off I would like to state that according to Rule 16 Friar Tucks is required to close 30 days after being served their official court orderd papers. The date these papers were served and signed was January 10, 2011. Further meaning that the establishment was not illegally opend.

    Second of all the victim happend to be a friend of many employees and customers that regularly come to Friar Tucks. He was a fine young man that never botherd anyone and did not deserve this.

    Many of you are saying that Friar Tucks is bringing trouble into the neighborhood, but why would you say that because opend or closed this incident may have happend. Friar Tucks had nothing to do with this situation.

    Since the raid the proper steps have been made to correct the problems Friar Tucks once had. It is now 19 and up to get in when in the city of New Orleans it is legal for an 18 year old to be in a bar. Also since then the 21 and up drinking age has been strickly enforced.

    A cousin of the victim was also present at the time of the incident stating that he sent the victim to his car to get some alcohol because he was not being served in the bar……

    Why is it that so many people are quick to point their fingers at this establishment ? If this had happend during the day when the bars doors were closed, whos fault would it have been then ?

    These are all things that should be looked at…….Its always easy to point the finger at someone else, especially if they are in the spotlight……

    Murders happen everyday in this city, 3 happend last night alone, but because this incident happend around an establishment that is very much in the spotlight everyone is blaming them.

    Wether you are down the street at the CURE or at Friar Tucks its still the same neighborhood and thats what everyone is missing right now…….. its not the businesses and the bars …… there has always been a heavy crime rate in this area.

    Just this morning there was a chase between the police and an armed robbery suspect on Freret street, in which a police officer was injured……… Now because the bar was closed no one has once said anything about that………

    Its what you want to believe………Friar Tucks is a College bar that caters to loyola, tulane, delgado, uno and holy cross students as well as the neighborhood……… you need to stop looking at the bar because its whats easiest to do and start looking at the type of people that live in the area!

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