JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office wants to know who shot up two businesses early Tuesday. One of the businesses was also robbed.
At 2:42 a.m., the JPSO sheriff's office received a call about gunshots outside the McDonald's in the 2900 Block of Jefferson Highway near Causeway. At least 11 bullets hit the building, according to investigators. No one was hurt, and the gunman fled.
Then at 4:11 a.m., another call to authorities about gunfire not that far away in the 800 Block of Clearview Parkway near Jefferson Highway at the Academy sporting goods store.
"Fired two rounds at that door, actually, and was successful in breaking the glass," JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said. "Once he broke the glass, he climbed in through the door, went to a manager's booth area where several employees were congregated, he produced a weapon and forced the manager of the store to take him to the safe where they removed an undetermined amount of U.S. currency and turned it over to him."
Candy Perez shopped at Academy hours later and said in terms of crime it is pervasive.
"It's everywhere, you just don't hear about it as much, but it's everywhere," she said.
"Yes, in a way this area is, as far as I'm concerned, a pretty safe area," said another customer who did not want to be identified.
Parents said a portion of the parking lot where Academy is located is used as a school bus pickup site.
"Nowadays the criminals are being so brazen, it's like they have no respect," said parent Michelle Washington.
Fortunato said robbery appears to have been the goal at the McDonald's but it did not happen.
"So, yeah we believe that was his intention. He was successful at Academy because he was able to get in the store," Fortunato said.
Descriptions given of the gunman were similar at both locations.
"Wearing all dark clothing, he had a black leather jacket on, with black pants and a white stripe. He had gloves, as well as a black ski mask covering his face. He was armed with a semi-automatic black handgun," Fortunato said.
Thus, investigators believe the same person is responsible for both crimes.
"That this particular person is one and the same, especially based on the clothing description," Fortunato said.
The random shootings are troubling to many.
"When you use a weapon during the commission of the crime and you're not hesitant to fire that weapon, thankfully nobody was injured in this matter," Fortunato said.
And while the pair of crimes occurred before 5 a.m., law enforcement offers advice to holiday shoppers for all hours of the day.
"People should travel in groups if they can," Fortunato said.
Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to call the JPSO Robbery Division at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.