'Overwhelmed' gunman tries to rob people at party, shoots during escape

'Overwhelmed' gunman tries to rob people at party, shoots during escape

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "We were having a party last night. We were celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas at the same time," said the victim.

The 88-year-old said the Fern Street home of his daughter and son-in-law was packed with family and friends celebrating the season together. Just after 8:30 p.m., people began to leave when an unwanted guest decided he wanted to come in.

"A couple of friends were leaving when the gunman intercepted them at the bottom of the steps," the victim said.

He said the gunman forced them back into the house.

"He comes into the house. He's waving his gun around and tells everyone to get on the floor," the victim said.

The elderly man said he was in the kitchen when the gunman approached him.

"I figured it was a robbery. He turned around, and I took my wallet and threw it in the freezer. He didn't ask me for anything. He just said, 'Get on the floor,' which I refused to do. He pointed the gun at me," the victim said.

The 88-year-old said the gunman repeatedly told everyone to get on the floor as he walked from room to room.  At one point, he said his son-in-law opened the back door and let in Bo, a 110-pound Doberman that made the situation even more chaotic.

"The dog was running around in circles. He was a pussycat. He looked fierce, but he wasn't. (The gunman) didn't know that," the victim said.

With the gunman distracted, victims grabbed their cell phones and dialed 911.

"When he wasn't playing attention to us, we were calling 911. He stayed downstairs. One of us went upstairs and got a firearm, which we have permits for.  She came down with it, and by the time we came downstairs, he was running out the front door," the victim said.

The gunman, though, did grab one of the victims' cell phones before making a run for it. The victim said his son-in-law, who retired from the Army, decided to follow the gunman outside. That's when the suspect turned around.

"He took a shot at him and missed. He said, 'I don't want the phone.' He gave the phone back to him, got on a bicycle and drove away," the victim said.

The 88-year-old said other victims in the house were frightened, but he was not.

"He told me to get on the ground. I told him no, and he turned around and walked off. I thought, 'This guy has no brains at all,'" the victim said.

He believes the gunman simply picked the wrong house.

"Not only did he pick the wrong house, he didn't know what he was doing. I think he was overwhelmed," the victim said.

Police believe the suspect is between 17 and 20 years old.

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