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‘He was full of life’: Friends and family remember Bourbon Street bar worker killed by stray bullet

Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 9:48 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As new parents, Dominique Thompson and her husband were up late Sunday morning when she received a text message around 2 a.m.

”She said there was a shooting at Cat’s Meow … All she said was, ‘It’s Spencer,” Thompson said.

The sudden end of her longtime and dear friend’s life was hard for Thompson to comprehend.

”He was just this huge presence and he was full of life, you know? And now, like in literally an instant, he’s gone,” said Thompson.

She remembers meeting 46-year-old Charles Spencer Hudson in 2012, when she first applied for a job at the Cat’s Meow, a popular karaoke bar in the 700 block of Bourbon Street. She says she, her future husband and Spencer became fast friends.

”He was kind of mischievous, you know? He liked to stir up some fun trouble. It sounds so cliche to say he lived his life to the fullest, but he really did, and always having fun. You’re not going to meet anyone saying, ‘Spencer, oh we don’t like him.’ Everyone who knew him liked him,” said Thompson.

Thompson remembers he had a thirst for knowledge and loved traveling. Working in the service industry made that possible.

”I know he would be laughing so hard right now. He’s almost like, ‘Oh, I went out in a blaze of glory,’” said Thompson.

Early Sunday morning, the NOPD investigated a shooting at the Cat’s Meow. Thompson said a fight outside the bar escalated into a shooting, with a stray bullet killing the longtime bar worker. Police arrested 24-year-old Daphney Jackson on manslaughter and weapons charges.

“She was a young woman, 24, frontal lobe just finished developing,” Thompson said. “So, it’s like, you ruined your life. So what can we do, not only to save the Spencers of the world, but how do we stop young people from adopting this mindset of feeling like they need to bring a deadly weapon with them and then using it?”

Thompson says, as a former service industry worker, her friend’s death is renewing in her an old push for stricter security measures on Bourbon Street.

”Seriously look at one entrance, one exit, metal detectors,” said Thompson. ”I feel so much sadness and so much rage.”

She pledges to remember that same fire Spenser had for life, to hopefully save someone else’s life.

”It’s just got to be a slap in the face to every person’s family and friends that it’s already happened to,” she said. “Take this up as their personal fight, like I should have done multiple shootings ago. Because it could be someone you know and love. We need to make this all our fight now.”

Jackson’s bond was set at $450,000.

The Cat’s Meow has not yet responded to request for comment.

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