NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Police have identified a suspect in a Sunday morning shooting in the French Quarter.
Police said Rodney Jackson is a suspect in the shooting that happened at about 1:30 a.m. at the corner of Decatur and Bienville streets. Surveillance cameras were rolling and captured the incident. There were also witnesses nearby, including one who snapped a photo and submitted it to the French Quarter Task Force through its new app.
Police think Jackson knew the victim, who was shot in the back. Jackson has a criminal history and is well-known to Eighth District Detectives.
The response time by an off-duty officer was under two minutes. The app's creator, Sidney Torres, says it's proving to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime in the quarter. Torres created the app and also pays for off-duty officers to travel through the quarter on Polaris vehicles.
"Every second, every minute is so important," Torres said.
Torres believes the initiative is an extra layer of protection for residents. He explains, "With over a thousand plus calls coming in and 70 arrests, six guns off the streets, statistics show for themselves, it's working."
Torres says his off-duty officers were first on the scene of Sunday morning's shooting, showing up in less than two minutes. They're alerted as soon as someone makes a post to the app, about crime in the area.
Torres says the officers were told the suspect passed his gun off to someone in a vehicle. State troopers were able to stop that car and locate the weapon.
"I'm glad to hear it, makes me feel safer," French Quarter resident Diane Johnson said.
Many residents we spoke to have heard of the app and say they support any extra measures to assist the NOPD in the city's fight against crime.
Hunter King says, "It's good that we have something to sort of fill the gap until the NOPD gets to where they need to be."
The only problem, Torres hadn't planned on financing the initiative long term; he wants more of a partnership with the city to ensure the success of the app and use of off-duty officers. He says he's reached out to the Landrieu administration and hopes to have an answer within the next three weeks.
Torres says 7,800 people have downloaded the app since it's inception a little over a month ago.
Meanwhile, the NOPD says someone has been questioned about the shooting on Decatur, but no arrests have been made. The victim has non-life threatening injuries.