Reward increased for information on NOPD officer shooting - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Reward increased for information on NOPD officer shooting

Updated:
NOPD Ofc. John Passaro NOPD Ofc. John Passaro

New Orleans, La - There's now a $30,000 reward for information on the shooting of NOPD Officer John Passaro. The FBI announced Sunday they'd contribute $20,000 to the $10,000 already offered by Crimestoppers. Law enforcement officials are hoping the increase in money will prompt someone to come forward with information.

It's been one week since a gunman opened fire on Officer John Passaro inside the Dollar General in the Bywater. Passaro was responding to a report of a robbery when he was struck. Store employees were also inside the Dollar General at the time. "The individuals held captive by this individual were assured by him that their safety was going to be ok. He made no bones about it that he had been terminated from some business and it wasn't really about them, it was about whoever he was employed with," said NOPD Sgt. Joey Catalanotto.

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas wants local business owners to look closely at a sketch of the person of interest, to see if this is a person they may have fired in recent weeks. Serpas says, "If you know anybody who looks like this man, 5'5 to 5'7, petite build, 140-150 pounds, medium complexion, and you have some knowledge about him being terminated recently, give Crimestoppers a call."

Aiding the NOPD in their investigation is the FBI. Not only are FBI agents combing the streets with NOPD officers, and sharing resources, the federal agency is also giving $20,000 for information leading to an arrest. FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson says, "Although the FBI is in the middle of a budget and furlough crisis, we believe this reward represents critical support of NOPD operations, the Passaro family and the City of New Orleans."

The total reward amount stands at $30,000. Crimestoppers has received some tips on the shooting, but they still need more information. "Remember, with Crimestoppers, you can remain anonymous so there should be no fear for retaliation, no fear to get involved," said Darlene Cusanza, executive director of Crimestoppers.

As for Officer Passaro, who was shot twice, Serpas says the three year veteran has a very long road of recovery ahead of him, but he is holding up well. "His spirits are good, he gets a lot of support from the police officers and the people of New Orleans. These are the times that a community rallies around its police department and these men and women do dangerous things every day and he's handling it incredibly well," Serpas said.

If you know anything about the shooting of Officer Passaro, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

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