Hundreds attend benefit for NOPD officer - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Hundreds attend benefit for NOPD officer

NOPD Ofc. John Passaro, shot in the line of duty NOPD Ofc. John Passaro, shot in the line of duty

A benefit concert for an NOPD officer shot in the line of duty drew a big crowd in Venetian Isles Thursday night.

One by one, hundreds of people packed into the Hi Tide Bar and Grill Thursday. $10 bought them all the crawfish they could eat and entertainment by the Top Cats.

Most of the attendees didn't even know Officer John Passaro, whom this benefit is for.

Gary Fehn said, "We're doing everything we can to help him. I never met him, but we still love him."

That help includes raising money for Passaro to use for medical expenses. The officer was shot last month while responding to a robbery call in the Bywater.

"It does hit close to home," Troy Williams said.

Williams is a detective with NOPD and owns Hi Tide. He organized this benefit.

"50 percent of the profits are going to the family, plus we've already got $1700 written out in checks personally to the officer," Williams explained.

Many of the people who turned out are friends of Troy Williams and his family and wanted to pitch in to help.

Rusty Vucinovich explains, "Troy asked me a couple days ago and I said, 'Troy, whatever you need.'  So we brought out tents, tables, chairs and just help whatever I can, you know."

Fehn added, "I brought the jambalaya and boiled the crawfish for the benefit."

And although they may not know John Passaro personally, many say they feel for him and his family.

Beverly Hoffman says, "I have a first cousin who's on the police force in St. Tammany so it kind of hits home a little bit."

That is why this community is willing to give whatever it can to a man who dedicated his life to protecting others.

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