Arrest made in Uptown quadruple shooting that killed 2 outside of church

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A week after a shooting outside of an Uptown church killed two and injured two others, New Orleans Police arrested 22-year-old Nairobi Davis.

Davis is accused of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

The four victims were working for Groundwork New Orleans when police say gunmen pulled up in a stolen grey Ford F-150 and opened fire.

All four of the workers were shot. Derrick Copelin, 25, and Zernell Lee, 19, died from their injuries.

According to court documents, police say several of the men who were shot were in possession of semi-automatic firearms and investigators believe there was an exchange of gunfire between the two groups.

“They took my heart,” Demica Copelin said. “They took my heart.”


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Davis showed up at a hospital about 30 minutes after the shooting with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

The truck used in the shooting was later found on fire in Algiers.

A doorbell camera nearby captured the sound of gunshots ringing out in broad daylight. A good Samaritan who rushed to the scene recorded the aftermath on his cell phone.

“They truly were a family,” said Todd Reynolds, executive director of Groundwork New Orleans. He says the four victims were like brothers. “They looked out for each other but they were doing the work. That’s what they did every day. Day in and day out.”

Reynolds says the tragedy hit everyone hard.

“This was tragically unforeseen. No one could predict something like this would happen,” he said.

The two survivors of the shooting have a long road of physical rehabilitation ahead of them.

Groundwork New Orleans has offered to pay for Lee and Copelin’s funerals.

“This is a family organization and we have to take care of each other,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of healing.”

Upon learning of Davis’ arrest, Reynolds says he’s grateful.

“Their families deserve some closure and some justice because this was a horrific tragedy.”

A judge set bond for Davis at $600,000.

The investigation into this shooting is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers.

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