NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A friend of the Loomis armored truck employee who was shot in killed Wednesday in New Orleans said James McBride, 33, overcame a brain tumor before his death.
"It hurts. Jimmy was a young man. He had his whole life ahead of him. He loved life and he fought for life obviously. Someone who fought the odds, and it ended like this," Patti Patten-Carlen said. "He had to go through treatment at least three times, but he overcame that...He was actually in the process, from what I understand, of getting on the New Orleans Police Department. He was in the process of trying to get hired."
Patten Carlen said McBride recently moved to the city from Florida, where he was a part of a Celtic Norse Heritage Society she used to lead.
The NOPD confirmed McBride was in the application process earlier this year but had not yet become an official recruit.
Loomis hired McBride on April 25th, a little more than a month before his murder, according to Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners Executive Director, Fabian P. Blache III.
Blache said McBride worked for another armored company in another state for three years prior to his hire in New Orleans.
McBride did not have a chance to fire his weapon before two gunmen approached the armored truck and killed him, but McBride's partner fired on the gunmen, according to Blache.
"He had a big heart. He was a hulking guy, but I would call him a big teddy bear," Patten-Carlen said. "He had a love for animals."
McBride's wife who still lives in Florida took to Facebook expressing her grief, saying in a post "We're (sic) all very heartbroken. This world is cruel."
"I hope for the sake of the people of New Orleans, not just for my friend, I'd like to see things change," Patten-Carlen said.
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI's New Orleans field office at (504) 816-3000 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.