NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The heads of the New Orleans and Tulane police departments say Corporal Martinus Mitchum touched a lot of lives and his loss is a major one for the community.
A memorial sign is up at Carver High School where Mitchum was shot and killed Friday night.
In a news conference Monday, NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson said the shooter, John Shallerhorn, 35, got into an altercation with a staff member while attempting to enter a basketball game at the school around 6 p.m.
“When a police officer is killed doing what he or she is sworn to do, a shadow comes across our hearts,” Ferguson said.
The chief says Mitchum intervened after Shallerhorn struck a school employee who was screening people entering the game. Mitchum then attempted to escort Shallerhorn from the school’s property.
Ferguson says Shallerhorn pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Mitchum twice. Shallerhorn placed his weapon on the ground and was arrested on the scene.
Mitchum was not wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot and killed Friday night, officials said.
Tulane’s police chief says they do have a policy requiring officers to wear bulletproof vests, but it’s difficult to enforce when an officer works outside of detail.
“I can tell you Corporal Mitchum wore one regularly,” TUPD Chief Kurk Bouyelas said. “I don’t have any guidelines that I can impose on one of my officers who’s working in a capacity for somebody else.”
Mitchum’s family traveled from Detroit to help plan a funeral for a man who they say dedicated his life to police work and young people.
Moments before the shooting, Ferguson says Shallerhorn committed an armed robbery in the parking lot of the school where he stole jewelry from the victim.
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