Warrants obtained for 4 in connection to shooting death of grandmother at graduation ceremony
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Over a week since senseless violence claimed the life of Augustine Greenwood, 80, New Orleans police obtained arrest warrants for four people believed to be involved.
Greenwood was killed after watching her grandchild walk across the stage at Morris Jeff High School’s graduation ceremony on Xavier’s campus on Tues., May 31. Two others were injured.
Police said the shooting happened after the ceremony had concluded and families were leaving the campus.
Warrants have been issued for Frank Bartholomew, Laverne Duplessis, Brandon Rock, and an unidentified 15-year-old juvenile.
Duplessis and Rock are wanted on manslaughter charges. Bartholomew and the juvenile are wanted for obstruction of justice and illegally carrying a gun in a gun-free zone, respectively.
Chief Shaun Ferguson says two Morris Jeff students were arguing in the parking lot outside when the suspects, who are either relatives or close friends of the students, escalated the altercation to gunfire.
“People are bringing weapons to a graduation and not balloons. Not flowers. Not cards commending our youth,” Ferguson said. “So we have to think about the mentality of where we are as a society when we have to bring a weapon to a graduation opposed to something to uplift someone who has made a major accomplishment within their life.”
New Orleans City Councilmember Oliver Thomas, whose children attend Morris Jeff’s high school and middle school, said he was outraged by the incident.
“You can’t go to graduation,” Thomas said. “You can’t go to second line. You can’t go to a birthday party. You can’t go to the restaurant. You can’t go to a bar on Magazine. You can’t go to the gas station. Where? Where can we go?”
“I was outraged. I couldn’t believe it happened at a graduation,” said Nicole McRettie, who participated in a second line for the victims’ families. “I just think it’s heartbreaking.”
“That’s a loss that’s indescribable. I can only imagine what that family and that child is going through,” second line organizer Rodrick Davis said. “We gotta stop this violence. We got to stop the violence. What is it gonna take for people to understand like enough is enough?”
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