Would-be thieves fire shots at an anti-crime activist in Lakeview

Would-be thieves fire shots at an anti-crime activist in Lakeview

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - "My thought was that I didn't want anyone to be a victim, and I'm not going to be a victim I my own home or in my own neighborhood," says Gino Ascani.

Anti-crime activist Gino Ascani jumped into action when his surveillance cameras showed three women and a man, pulling on his car door handles just outside his Lakeview home on General Haig.

"My fiancé woke me up saying they were in the driveway, and I immediately got up and started to get dressed," says Ascani.

Ascani says he told his fiancé to call 911. In the meantime, he decided to grab his gun for protection and go outside.

"Because she was on the phone with 911 and I wanted to give myself a better chance to get them caught by following them, instead of them disappearing into the night like they always do," says Ascani.

He followed the four would-be thieves to the corner of General Haig and Walker, but he didn't want them to get away.

"So, I yelled for them to freeze, and they took off. I chased after a little bit and yelled freeze again," says Ascani.

They never stopped. Instead, Ascani says the man turned around and fired two shots at him.

"I know he was trying to kill me. He wasn't pointing up in the air. On the neighbor's video, you can clearly see him aim at me and fire," says Ascani.

"Our officers were already in the area. As the perps were firing, they jumped into a vehicle and attempted to flee," says NOPD Commander Jeff Walls.

Within minutes, police say officers spotted the suspect's vehicle speeding down General Haig.

"They observed the police officers as well, but before we could actually engage them in a vehicle pursuit or anything, they flipped the vehicle," says Commander Walls.

Police say two suspects, Kilton Lowery and Travilique Lewis, ran from the flipped car and were found hiding under a horse trailer at the NOPD's horse stables at Marconi and Harrison.

The other two suspects, Kiana Nevelle and Arielle Temple, were captured walking down Marconi.

While Ascani did nothing criminally wrong, the NOPD says they'd rather if citizens didn't take the risk of getting involved.

Ascani, though, has no regrets.

"Anybody that knows me, knows that I am not going to sit back and be a victim," says Ascani.

Police say the man who was arrested, Kilton Lowery, is no stranger to police. He's been arrested 3 times in the past for similar crimes. Police say the gun he used this morning was reported stolen earlier this year.

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