Judge reduces bond for accused Bourbon St. shooter

Trung Le (Source: OPP)
Trung Le (Source: OPP)

During a bond hearing that at times felt more like a mini-trial, several witnesses took the stand.

The attorney for accused Bourbon Street shooter Trung Le set out to prove that his client was only acting in self-defense on June 29 when 10 people were shot, including one who later died.

"The shooter, the unknown shooter walks down the street in the middle of Bourbon Street," said Martin Regan. "He walks up to these people. He then cocks his gun and says, 'I got a 40 for you.' He then backs up and points the gun at their heads."

Regan doesn't deny that Le began firing his weapon first, but he said Le was protecting himself and others that night.

Prosecutor Laura Rodrigue told the judge that making Le out to be a local hero is offensive. She said the court should consider what Le's friends were doing on Bourbon Street that night, alluding to an earlier altercation with another man, allegedly over drugs.

Regan denies that incident had anything to do with the shooting.

"Apparently, someone tried to arm rob someone in [Le's] group of marijuana," said Regan. "They weren't selling marijuana. Someone approached and robbed them of marijuana. That individual was not the individual that pulled a gun and fired in the street."

Le is indicted on one count of manslaughter in the death of 21-year-old Brittany Thomas and one count of attempted second-degree murder. His bond was previously set at $1.5 million, but Regan argued it was too high. The Judge reset bond at $250,000 despite prosecutors pointing out that Le had to be arrested by U.S. Marshals in Gulfport and then refused extradition.

Even with the drastic bond reduction, Regan isn't satisfied. He's hoping Le will gain support from the community to help him afford to bond out.

"I'm hoping his friends, family and Vietnamese community who looks at the facts, that he saved the lives of three or four people, that they'll stand up and make a bond for him at his point," Regan said.

NOPD officers hope to make one more arrest in the shooting.

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