NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson announced the arrest of a 15-year-old in connection with the shooting death of a woman Sunday evening in New Orleans East.
The teen is accused of shooting and killing 52-year-old Anita Leviege in the 7000 block of Morrison Road.
According to investigators, Leviege was driving on Morrison Rd. Sunday evening when her vehicle was approached by two suspects. The suspects opened fire on the vehicle and the victim attempted to drive away from the scene. The victim later crashed her vehicle into another vehicle before coming to a stop.
Police responded to a call of a vehicle crash with injury, but when they arrived at the scene they found Leviege with a gunshot wound inside of her vehicle. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.
NOPD says the suspect surrendered to police Thursday and was accompanied by his father. While being questioned by detectives, police say the juvenile confessed to his role in the shooting.
“We need more parents like this to take responsibility,” said Ferguson. “Parents of this child learned of their son committing this senseless act. He turned his son in.”
Law enforcement and community organizations that help the city’s youth, like Son of a Saint, say accountability and responsibility starts in the home.
Peter Hamilton, board member for Son of a Saint, an organization that mentors boys from childhood to adulthood, also sits ad hoc in Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. He said he’s seen kids come and go in the court system; everything from petty crimes to the extreme, like murder.
“The argument is youth can’t make adult decisions, and a lot of times these youth are making adult decisions for their family,” said Hamilton. “Once we get them at 10 or 11 or 12 [years old], you know it is easier to keep them out of that [trouble].”
He believes a lot of times kids don’t understand what they did or how they were involved in certain crimes.
“I do want to reiterate, if you’re bold enough to shoot a gun at somebody, you need to have consequences to that,” he said.
Ferguson mentioning at the news briefing that the city of New Orleans saw a 71 percent increase in murders in 2020 compared to 2019, and this year is already off to a bad start.
“It is self responsibility as well as accountability all across the board from the community to our criminal justice system is what will make our city safer,” he said.
The juvenile has been arrested and booked in the Juvenile Justice Center on one count of second degree murder.
Police are still searching for a second person of interest in the shooting captured on surveillance video walking near the scene of the homicide.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact NOPD Homicide Detective Jamaane Roy (504) 658-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
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