Mayor, police seek tips in death of toddler in Central City - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Mayor, police seek tips in death of toddler in Central City

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his police chief appealed Friday for the public's help in finding the person responsible for the shooting death of a 13-month-old girl.

"This community has got to stand up and with force and power speak with one voice and say this is unacceptable," Landrieu said at an afternoon news conference. He announced plans for an evening vigil at an intersection near where Londyn Samuels was killed.

The child was being held by an 18-year-old baby sitter who was wounded in the Thursday night shooting. Police said she is expected to survive.

The shooting happened in the Central City neighborhood, one of the hot spots for crime that has marred the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Police chief Ronal Serpas said he was surprised at the lack of tips to Crimestoppers, which offers rewards and promises anonymity to people who phone in information.

"We know that people in our community know more than they are telling us," Serpas said. "We would ask the people of New Orleans that know something about this to ask yourself, 'What kind of a man would shoot at a woman holding a child?' That's not the kind of person you want to protect."

A $5,000 reward is being offered. Police issued images from a surveillance video that shows two people - described as "persons of interest" - walking past a house in the area.

On Friday, police questioned three people from a residence near where the shooting occurred.

Landrieu, who made the fight against violent crime a major issue in his 2010 campaign, said the city has had some success in cutting the murder rate, noting that there have been 97 so far this year, down from 130 at the same point last year. But he said the death of child demonstrates the need for more community involvement.

The motive for the shooting, which happened as the baby sitter was walking outside around 8:20 p.m., was unknown.


Information from: The Times-Picayune,

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