Kenner Police identify victim, gunman in fatal workplace shooting

Kenner Police identify victim, gunman in fatal workplace shooting
John Spears, 50 (Source: Kenner Police)
John Spears, 50 (Source: Kenner Police)

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - An instructor at a maritime training center in Kenner walked into the business late Friday afternoon, shot and killed a co-worker and then walked outside to wait for police, according to police spokesman Lt. Brian McGregor.

The victim was identified as 49-year-old manager Anthony Tardo, of Mandeville. The gunman was identified as 50-year-old instructor John Spears, of Marrero. Police said they are investigating the incident as a case of workplace violence.

The shooting happened just before 3:30 p.m. at the Houston Marine Training Center in the 2500 block of Williams Boulevard. McGregor said Spears walked into the building and shot Tardo once in the chest, then walked to another area of the business and told workers that Tardo was going to "need help."

McGregor said Spears then walked out of the building to the parking lot, placed his gun on the top of his car and waited for police to arrive. He was arrested without incident. There were about 10 other employees in the business at the time of the shooting; no one else was injured.

"It's absolutely tragic," said Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Citanovich, who pronounced Tardo at the scene. "My understanding is there was no commotion before the shooting, either."

Kenner Police said Spears refused to cooperate with detectives and offered no explanation or motive for the shooting. He faces a charge of second-degree murder and was still in custody at the time of publication. No bond had been set.

McGregor said Tardo was a 49-year-old father of three and had been with the company for 19 years.

Spears taught courses in dynamic positioning at the center and had worked there for about a year.

Houston Marine CEO Bryan Lecompte was overcome with emotion at the scene.

"We lost a friend, a co-worker, and a great father. Please pray for us, pray for us," he said.

Kenner Police Chief Michael J. Glaser encourages anyone with information about the shooting or John Spears, to contact Kenner Police Detective Trey Hille at (504) 712-2213.

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