Armed robbery victim dies; teenage suspect faces murder charge

A Hoffman Triangle shooting victim died of his wounds Saturday (July 22), and a teenager jailed in that shooting now faces a murder charge in his death. Police found Kenneth Allen with a gunshot wound in the 3100 block of Second Street at about 12:45 a.m. on July 11. He was unresponsive, and Emergency Medical Services brought him to a hospital. He died 11 days later at 57. On July 18, the NOPD arrested 19-year-old Cody McClairen in connection with two shootings committed just days apart in the Hoffman Triangle, including Allen’s shooting.

Viewpoint: What will the next police chief be able to accomplish?

Insiders expect interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork to be appointed as the next superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. Woodfork, they say, is clearly the best choice among the six semi-finalists that Mayor LaToya Cantrell presented to the select committee of business, civic and political leaders for interviews this week. Two of the candidates are tainted, having left their previous positions under a cloud. Others might not be suitable because of their race, level of experience or lack of working knowledge about the city. 

With crime on top of almost every citizen’s mind, the city doesn’t have the luxury of hiring a chief who needs a couple of months to familiarize himself or herself with the neighborhood rivalries, gangs and drug culture behind much of the violence. While yesterday (July 19) was a rare murder-free day, other crimes still took place. 

It’s no secret that Cantrell handpicked Woodfork and that Woodfork has closely followed her boss’s lead.

Three teenagers arrested in recent carjacking, attempted robbery

Three juveniles were arrested Thursday (July 6) in connection with an attempted armed robbery and a carjacking reported a day earlier in the East Riverside and Irish Channel neighborhoods. The victims in both incidents were women. Two of the suspects are 14 years of old; the other is 15.  Two handguns were recovered by New Orleans police and federal ATF officers during the arrest. The three boys have been charged with the attempted armed robbery and armed carjacking, according to the New Orleans Police Department. The crimes occurred within 20 minutes of each other on Wednesday afternoon (July 5), according to police reports.

Brutal carjacking of Stein’s Deli owner one of many in river area

Among the victims in a recent rash of carjackings and robberies in the Lower Garden District, Irish Channel and East Riverside was the owner of the beloved Stein’s Market & Deli on Magazine Street. Dan Stein left his Lower Garden District shop, carrying a bag with a sandwich inside, and got in his Toyota SUV on Thursday (July 6) at about 12:45 a.m., the New Orleans Police Department stated. At first, he didn’t think much of it when four men drove up in a dark-colored vehicle

The gunmen ordered him out of the SUV, and he complied. Before fleeing in Stein’s car, one of the carjackers struck him in the head with a handgun. Stein collapsed on the sidewalk and stayed there for a while, surveillance video obtained by WWL-TV shows.

Police seek information on killing at Leonidas and Claiborne

The New Orleans Police Department continues to investigate the recent shooting death of a 53-year-old man on Leonidas Street. On June 24 at about 12:30 p.m., NOPD officers found Dennis Brown on Leonidas near South Claiborne Avenue suffering from several gunshot wounds. Brown was taken to a hospital, where he later died. The shooting occurred mid-day near Harrell Park. Video surveillance shows a newer model black Infiniti Fx35 SUV, pictured above, fleeing the scene.

Pride flag torn down twice on Freret Street; police identify suspect in theft, hate crime

Twice, a Freret Street business has raised a rainbow flag in honor of Pride Month. And twice, it was mysteriously removed. The New Orleans Police Department arrested David Klump, 56, on Friday (June 29) on two counts of theft and two counts of a misdemeanor hate crime in connection with the disappearance of the rainbow flag. The pride flag on Freret Street was stolen on June 9 and again on June 25, police said. It was on a statue outside of a business in the 4600 block of Freret Street.

Man shot to death in Airline Highway motel

A man was shot to death in a motel on Airline Highway on Tuesday (June 20), the New Orleans Police Department reported. Third District officers were called to the London Lodge Motel in the 9300 block of Airline at about 4:35 a.m. They found a 20-year-old male with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office will identify the victim and official cause of death upon completion of an autopsy and notification of his family. Homicide Detective Michael Poluikis is the lead investigator.

Viewpoint: Can the next governor actually do something about crime?

For more than a month now, Attorney General Jeff Landry, a former sheriff’s deputy and the leading candidate for governor of Louisiana, has been airing television commercials about his experience fighting crime. Not to be outdone, a political action committee supporting gubernatorial candidate Steve Waguespack, the former head of the state’s business lobby and a previous aide to Gov. Bobby Jindal, has counter-claimed that Landry has done little to solve the problem as the state’s top law enforcement official. State Treasurer John Schroeder, also a Republican candidate for governor, has been spending big bucks on television addressing the issue. Democratic candidate Shawn Wilson, a native New Orleanian, speaks passionately on the subject. Last week, District Attorney Jason Williams surprised many political insiders with his pronouncement that he, too, might enter the race because Landry’s commercials had offended his sensibilities.

Police seeking car involved in shooting and hit-and-run

The New Orleans Police Department is searching for a vehicle connected to a May 19 shooting in Central City. The vehicle was first involved in a hit-and-run; damage may be visible on the front passenger-side bumper. After the hit-and-run, the shooting victim, a 40-year-old man, followed the car to Danneel and Sixth streets at about 1:15 p.m. The gunman responded by opening fire, striking the victim multiple times. NOPD Sixth District detectives are seeking the blue Honda Accord pictured above and those occupying the vehicle at the time of the incident. The Honda has chrome trim, no license plate and a temporary license tag in the rear window. Anyone with information on this incident, the pictured vehicle or its occupants is urged to contact NOPD Sixth District detectives at 504-658-6060.

Patrol officers arrest two suspects on drug, weapons charges in Central City

New Orleans police arrested two suspects and recovered drugs and weapons in Central City over Memorial Day weekend. On Sunday (May 28), Sixth District officers were patrolling in the 2700 block of Loyola Avenue when they observed a man who appeared to be concealing a firearm. He got into a vehicle with another man. Officers attempted a stop and arrested one of the men. The other fled on foot, throwing bags over a fence as he ran, police said.