NOPD: Teenage suspect, victim exchange gunfire in deadly Mid-City double shooting

NOPD and Mayor on Cleveland Ave. shooting

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Police are investigating a double shooting that left one person dead and another injured Wednesday night (May 8), according to New Orleans Police.

The shooting was reported in the 2700 block of Cleveland Avenue just after 9:50 p.m., NOPD said, and investigators confirmed it around 10:40 p.m.

According to investigators, police were originally called for a suspicious person in the neighborhood. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a 63-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and a 54-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm.

Both victims were transported to a local hospital where the female victim was later pronounced dead. The Orleans Parish Coroner identified her as Zelda Townsend. Her official cause of death is a gunshot wound.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said that the couple heard a car alarm going off and when they went to check on the vehicle, they found an armed suspect in the back seat.

According to NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson, the suspect and the male victim exchanged gunfire before both of them were struck. The suspect then fled the scene in a getaway vehicle.

NOPD investigators said someone from the getaway vehicle told the 17-year-old suspect, identified by law enforcement sources as Emanuel Pipkins, to open fire on the victims.

The getaway car took Pipkins to the hospital, where he was later arrested. He faces a second-degree murder charge. The suspect was arrested a month ago for burglary, according to New Orleans police.

Police later learned that getaway vehicle that was used in the shooting had been reported stolen.

“This is a tragic and unfortunate incident. So at this point in time I think that this is a day that we should all be reflecting include myself including myself on what it is that we are doing in this criminal justice system, what it is our community is doing and what it is I parents are doing," said Ferguson. "We should be holding ourselves accountable they should not. This should not be happening. To anyone as I said just last month these individuals have become brazen and bold and we should realize that.”

The shooting marked the third in Orleans Parish in less than two hours.

Related: NOPD responds to 2 separate shootings minutes apart

If anyone has any information about this shooting, they are asked to contact NOPD Homicide Detective Barrett Morton at (504) 658-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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