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New Orleans musician fights off carjacker in French Quarter with help from neighborhood bar

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2022 at 11:05 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A local musician is left battered, bruised and furious after fighting off a carjacker in broad daylight outside of a busy French Quarter bar.

“I could have been hurt, but it was worth stopping him,” Shawn Williams said.

Williams said he wanted to cry at first, but instead felt a wave of anger

“I love my city, you know?” Williams said. “This is where I’m from and I want to help keep it safe and keep the crap out of here.” Williams said.

Everyone at Cosimo’s and in the neighborhood is stunned at the brazenness of the suspects, who tried to steal Williams’ car as she unloaded her bandmates’ gear Sunday around 6 p.m. in front of the busy bar at the intersection of Burgundy and Governor Nicholls streets.

“We had customers on the sidewalk running after these guys who eventually gave up, because the guys were going into their pockets and they were afraid of what possibly was in their pocket,” bartender Kaysee Seymour said.

Seymour was bartending when she heard the commotion.

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“As I walked outside, I actually approached not only my neighbor but a regular, a local musician here, who were both stunned and traumatized,” Seymour said. “And I just walked outside and I just grabbed them in my arms and I held them.”

The shaken Williams had made a quick decision to grab her keys out of the ignition, but the carjacker fought back, punching her three times in the side of her face and jaw.

“Once he started punching me, I was like, ‘I’m about to be beaten to do death,’ you know? I was thinking of the lady three weeks ago who was beaten to death in broad daylight,” Williams said.

The customers sprang into action and chased the man off down Governor Nicholls, where witnesses say he met up with an accomplice and made a right on Rampart.

“These are people you care about,” Seymour said. “These are people you love. These are people who come in every day. These are people who are your neighbors, they’re your friends.”

As everyone made sure Williams and her bandmate were OK, Seymour called 911 and was able to flag down a French Quarter Patrol unit that passed by.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to sing with gigs coming up,” Williams said. “My mouth is still opening and closing slowly, but I think I’ll be healed. Not dead. No broken jaw. Still have my car and my belongings and, hopefully, this has stopped. People aren’t lucky all the time.”

While she considers herself lucky, she wants to make sure no one else has to face that terror.

“Even if they look like they’re not junked out and drugged up and could be male, female, young kid, anybody, just be aware wherever you are, you know? Even if people are around, because it can happen anywhere,” Williams said.

NOPD is investigating. Anyone with any information is asked to call detectives or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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