NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans police are looking for persons of interest in one of two shootings at stores in New Orleans East. In one shooting, a gunman killed a store clerk. Hours earlier, a store manager was wounded during an armed robbery a few miles away.
People in New Orleans East hope arrests come soon. One of those shootings occurred early Tuesday morning at the Fuel Express convenience store on Hayne Boulevard, where a 58-year-old clerk was killed.
New Orleans police released pictures from surveillance inside the store. Right now, police are calling the people in the photos “persons of interest.”
“That really hurt me," said Jay Johnson, a friend of the store clerk, whose name has not been released. "He was a nice man, he would do favors for people. He didn’t bother nobody.”
The shooting happened around 1:20 a.m. shortly after surveillance images were captured of men who appeared to be staking out the store.
Customers say for the past two years, the clerk was an often helpful member of the community.
“Every neighbor knows everybody around here. When I heard it was the old man, I was shocked because he was a nice guy,” said customer Frank Thornton.
New Orleans police were canvassing the neighborhood Tuesday in their search for the men in the video. One is taller and clean-shaven, the other was wearing camouflage and had facial hair.
“More and more violence in New Orleans, it’s really disheartening,” said Thornton.
Three miles away and around seven hours earlier, a robber struck the Family Dollar on Crowder Boulevard and also opened fire on a manager who was shot in the arm as he tried to intervene.
“Uptown and New Orleans has police camera lights, and we should put them out here,” said customer Theresa Williams.
New Orleans East business operators say the crime is troubling. But they say the last 24 hours have been especially bad.
“I’m born and raised in New Orleans. I ain’t leaving, I just hope things change,” said Thornton.
If you know anything that can help police solve either crime, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.