NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A 17-year-old is gunned down in front of his house and his 4-year-old cousin is wounded in an afternoon shooting in New Orleans East. The shooting in the 5900 block of Boeing Street, comes on the day NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison pledges to rid the city of violent crime.
Relatives reeling from the loss of the teen they identify as Gerald Morgan say people in two separate cars opened fire on him as he hung out in front of his home Tuesday afternoon. "This is ridiculous, they need to do something about this city," said his aunt, Kat Morgan, through tears.
The victim's grandmother, Gwendolyn Morgan, said, "They tore up the house. They got bullet holes all the way to the kitchen."
One of the bullets struck Morgan's cousin in the arm. The family concedes that Morgan had a gun, out of necessity, and used it to fire back at the perpetrators.
"That be wrong when honest children that grew up like that in that type of environment, have to carry a gun on them for their safety," Kat Morgan said.
Hours before the shooting, Harrison announced a series of initiatives aimed at eradicating the violence plaguing the city.
"Effective immediately, I'm going to be authorizing more overtime funding for district commanders to assign more officers to proactively patrol," he said.
In addition, the gang unit will double it's work. Harrison says the feds in Washington are committed to helping the city. It's a multi-agency approach to remove drugs, lock up repeat offenders and put an end to crime.
"The killings have to stop. Drug dealing breeds violence," DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Keith Brown said.
Harrison adds, "If violence is the life you choose, then prison will be the price you pay. We will pursue you relentlessly. You will not get away with it. We will make sure that justice is served."
That's what Gerald Morgan's family is hoping for as the NOPD works to determine who killed him and and wounded a child in the process.
To help with crime fighting, 27 new NOPD recruits will soon hit the streets, and State Police are also a key piece of the puzzle, helping the department not only in the French Quarter, but with calls for service city-wide.