Business employee shoots at fleeing vehicle dragging worker trying to stop it, police say

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Police block the end of South Miro as they investigate a shooting incident in the Felipe's parking lot. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

[Correction appended]

A vehicle fleeing a restaurant parking lot and dragging an employee trying to stop it Monday afternoon was shot at by another man, authorities said.

The vehicle escaped, and it is unknown whether anyone inside it was wounded, police said. The employee was treated for injuries sustained in the dragging, and his condition was not immediately available.

Around 12:30 p.m., a customer at Elio’s just off South Claiborne Avenue tried to pay with a counterfeit $50 bill, but the cashier recognized the forgery, said NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel. When the cashier tried to call 911, the customer grabbed the cell phone away and ran outside, Noel said.

Employees from both Elio’s and Felipe’s next door followed, and one Felipe’s employee tried to stop the customer’s car as it was pulling away, but the vehicle instead began dragging the employee. At that point, the cashier from Elio’s pulled a handgun and shot the vehicle several times.

In the parking lot of Papa John’s next door, Ali Ayad was waiting for a pizza when he heard the gunshots, he said.

“I said, let me see where they’re coming from, because stray bullets have no name,” Ayad said.

Ayad said he saw a man firing at what appeared to be a fleeing newer-model Nissan, striking the car several times before it got away on Calhoun Street.

Noel said no charges have been filed in the incident, as it remains under investigation. In general, police recommend witnesses to a crime in progress limit their direct involvement, Noel said.

“Being observant, getting as much detail as possible and notifying police is the most important thing you can do,” Noel said.

Police are seeking video from the busy commercial parking lot at the end of South Miro, which was blocked by crime scene tape until about 2 p.m. No description of the suspect or the vehicle has been released.

A representative of Felipe’s at the scene declined to comment on the shooting.

[Correction: Based on incorrect information from authorities at the scene, initial versions of this article said the counterfeit bill was offered at Felipe’s and that the man with the gun was a worker there. Police have since released a report stating that the initial incident took place at Elio’s Wine Warehouse, which shares a parking lot with Felipe’s, and that the man with the gun was from Elio’s as well. The Felipe’s employee who was dragged by the fleeing vehicle was attempting to assist, the report states.]

A Second District task force officer examines shell casings on the pavement near the Felipe's parking lot on South Miro. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD crime-scene technicians photograph shell casings along South Miro Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

(Article first published 12:57 p.m. Monday; most recently updated 6:58 p.m.)

17 thoughts on “Business employee shoots at fleeing vehicle dragging worker trying to stop it, police say

  1. Ok so is the shooter a “bad guy” or just your usual good samaritan/village idiot?

    I am all for the second amendment and think that more citizens arming themselves might help our crime situation. But in this instance ten shots with an iphone camera would have gotten us a lot further!

  2. Hope the employee isn’t hurt too badly, but come on, they tried to grab the car? Unless you are Superman, not a very good idea.

  3. I eat at this Felipe’s at least once a week (often twice) and I am flabbergasted by the level of stupidity that is on display here. 1) the person who thought it was a great idea to hang off a moving car 2) the person who thought it was a good idea TO SHOOT AT THE CAR DURING CROWDED LUNCH TIME and with the aforementioned employee hanging off the car? 3) the person who admits that stray bullets “have no name” but DECIDED TO SEE WHERE THEY WERE COMING FROM.

    I am amazed that no other cars were hit and that no one was shot. This is easily the dumbest thing I’ve seen in New Orleans, which is saying a lot. I am so aggravated by this WHOLLY UNNECESSARY escalation of violent stupidity, that I may not return to Felipe’s in the future. I just… I don’t even know.

  4. they didnt try to grab the car it was already backing out with one of the doors open and he got caught in it. saw the whole thing but didnt understand who the guy was with the gun but reading this makes me pissed off because he could have just let the car go over an $8 burito and just got the license plate number and gone from there…..

  5. So wait, someone from Papa John’s said let me see where the shots are coming from because bullets have no name? Yet you go look for it? LOL! That’s an easy way to find one with your name on it. But this is crazy. We frequent that Felipe’s all the time.

  6. No danger of getting video from CapitalOne Bank’s surveillance cameras … CUZ DEY AIN’T GOT NONE, DAWLIN!! (Glad they are moving away forever in March)

  7. I own a small business and had gotten a few of those counterfeit bills when I spoke with Secret Service about it they told me to confiscate the bill and call 911. I told him, “you must be crazy if you think I am going to keep a bill a criminal just tried to give me then tell him I am calling the police! He’s a criminal!! I am not risking my safety for that!”

  8. I was in Felipe’s when this happened. The incident did not happen in the restaurant. It happened at Elio’s. None of us in the restaurant knew what was going on. It looked like the guy from Elio’s was holding the gun. The two Felipe’s employees were on the passenger side of the car. The three of them were trying to stop the suspects from leaving. I don’t know if someone ran out of Felipe’s with a gun and shot at the car or not. The only gun I saw was in the hand of the Elio’s employee. When the car fled the parking lot, some people were running to the windows but I didn’t see anyone go outside. Then there were 5 shots. The police showed up and talked to the guy from Elio’s and the two Felipe’s employees. And maybe one of the beer delivery truck drivers. Those of us in the restaurant were allowed to leave. Not saying that the use of a gun was the right call. Just trying to clarify some details in the article.

    • Marc, thanks for this update. I also just received a report from police saying that the counterfeit bill was offered at Elio’s, so I’ve corrected the article. The report also indicates it was the original employee of Elio’s with the gun, though the employee injured was from Felipe’s.

      I also see that a police spokeswoman is telling nola.com, however, that the man was in Felipe’s before Elio’s, and that it was a Felipe’s employee with the gun: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/02/shots_fired_outside_uptown_res.html

      Representatives from the businesses have declined to discuss the incident with either me or nola.com, which could clarify the situation.

      If I can confirm any more details, I’ll update the article again. I’ve also received still photos of the person with the counterfeit bills that I’ll be posting as soon as possible.

      Thanks for sharing your account here.

      • Right,the man that was dragged by the car works at Felipe’s. I don’t know his name, but I see him a few times a week. I do know that the person holding the gun was from Elio’s, but I can’t begin to speculate as to whether the use of the firearm was justified or not. I have no idea if the person in the car was armed or not.

        Thank you for your reporting on the incident, and also for your prompt updates.

  9. Folks, please, before we have another tragedy like last month in Algiers, Please, please, please stop chasing these bad guys. It could end terribly like it did last month in Algiers. Anyone civilian whom is trained and permitted to carry firearms KNOWS THAT YOU STOP WHEN THE THREAT TO LIFE IS OVER!! OVER! PERIOD! You don’t chase anyone or you get shot like that guy was in Algiers. Let them go. It’s a car. It’s a counterfeit bill. Let them go!! You shoot, you’re culpable. JUST STOP CHASING!!

  10. If I had only been there, I could have stopped the car. However, I was in a stupid Monday editorial meeting at the Daily Planet and had my super-hearing turned off. Lois Lane is awfully hot by the way.

  11. I personally don’t think it is a good idea to chase criminals because I am afraid of getting hurt. But…. I think it is awesome that the guy at Elio’s stuck up for himself and that other people took part in trying to stop a criminal. The crime in this city is disgusting and disturbing. There is too much silence and not enough action. I say thank you for your bravery!

  12. What we live in the Wild West?!? I didn’t know you can just pull a pistol out and just start shooting into a busy neighborhood and school zone, I mean I would be pissed, but come on it was 50 bucks, its not like he threatened anyones life. What if them stray bullets would have killed a child or another innocent bystander, because he thinks he is connected with certain people he will get off regardless of the outcome. Does the idiot know he is responsible for that bullet from the time he shoot till it hits something or someone. You can’t just pull a gun out and start blasting, that is irresponsible and he should have all his rights revoked and should be punished. Taking the law into his own hands, why don’t we all do that?? But he thinks he has family with ties to the nopd, they can do whatever they want. Man just give the guy a burrito, its not like they couldn’t afford to give back once and a while.

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