Businesses say crime like Esplanade Ave. shooting is hurting business

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Some New Orleans businesses say they are beginning to feel the pinch from recent crimes, especially in the French Quarter.

This comes after a local musician was found to have acted in self-defense when he shot a man who attacked him outside a club Friday morning at the busy gateway between the French Quarter and the Marigny. It was a case of a compliment taken the wrong way that led to bloodshed.

"All I know is, I was in a bar, and heard a pow and came to the window, and saw Nick sitting right there on the floor," said Joseph Chester who saw his friend, Nick Temper, lying wounded at the corner of Esplanade and Decatur at about 1 a.m.

Police said Temper's girlfriend complimented the musician's attire, which led to an angry exchange and then a fight. Police say Temper was shot in the chest by the musician after Temper attacked him.

"I said, 'this is Joe, dude, your best friend.' "I'm about to cry, I'm sorry. That was my best friend," Chester said.

Police say one of Temper's friends, 28-year-old Floyd Winters, also attacked the armed musician. He was arrested and now faces a battery charge.

Cheryl Goodwin, a Canadian tourist, was leaving the Marigny around the same time as the shooting and had no idea there was bloodshed.

"Personally, I don't understand the gun thing, or understand why someone needs a gun," she said.

It isn't just musicians who are taking precautions against the violence. Many tourists are wondering if they should do the same.

"Should we wear bulletproof vests getting off the plane? I'm getting those calls again. It's over the top," said Haunted History tour operator Sidney Smith. Smith says the national attention surrounding crime has hurt his business. "I can't tell people to stay out of dark alleys, anymore. It's happening everywhere."

Smith says crimes like the recent shooting of an Irish tourist get international attention and are especially harmful.

"The reputation of the city precedes. You are aware there's an element of crime that exists," said Goodwin.

"Everything's changed. A lot of my old friends are either dead or gone," said Joe Williams of New Orleans.

Goodwin says it's a shame. "The architecture is stellar, and the colors, and the people are friendly," she said.

Most, but not all.

"It is, it's getting worse," said Chester.

And few seem to have any ready solutions.

Police are searching another man who was involved in the attack on the musician. NOPD says witnesses confirmed the musician's story and he has not been charged. But they say the investigation remains open pending a review by the D.A.'s office.

Temper remains hospitalized in critical condition.

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