‘Not quiet in Gotham’: Father, son gunned down in New Orleans East outrages councilman

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 10:45 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Councilman Oliver Thomas said the city’s latest deadly shooting -- a double slaying in the Little Woods neighborhood of New Orleans East -- hit home for him.

Two men were fatally shot just before 3 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 6) in the 7000 block of Yorktown Drive, New Orleans police said. It’s a street Thomas said he knows well.

“My kids are babysat in this block in this area sometimes,” Thomas said. “That’s crazy.”

Neighbors who did not want to go on camera told Fox 8 the two victims were father and son, and were working on a car in the driveway of the home. They said a car pulled up, multiple gunmen jumped out and opened fire, and then drove off.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Horace Edwards, 54, and Tre Edwards, 28.

“I used the term ‘Gotham City’ when we interviewed some time ago. It’s still not quiet in Gotham,” Thomas told Fox 8. “It seems like no matter what time of day, no matter where you live -- Algiers, Central City, Uptown, Metairie. There’s something going on in this city, this region and this country, where people are just out of their minds with violence.”

Thomas said what makes the crime wave in New Orleans unique is the amount of retaliatory killings happening, with little concern for innocent bystanders.

“It’s so indiscriminate now,” he said. “Before, it used to be against this drug gang, contained mostly around the housing developments and certain communities. There is an element out here that’s armed, with criminal intent, and with murder on their mind. It’s a sick time. We need some healing.

“The one thing we do know, from talking to people in the streets and from some of the intelligence that comes with law enforcement, retaliation is a big part of the violence that’s happening. There are a few gangs in this city that are targeting each other.”

The NOPD did not disclose the victims’ identities, but said there was no evidence they returned fire. Evidence markers at the crime scene were placed even on the engine of the red Ford SUV on which neighbors said the men were working.

“Any time someone is killed in New Orleans, we’ve seen too often, the next day, the next night, someone being killed or shot at. I’m always concerned about retaliation,” Thomas said. “At some point, we have to do like we did in the ‘90s: Get the people who are involved in these revenge murders and get them off the street.”

LSU Health criminologist Peter Scharf said, “This is street justice. What percentage of killings in New Orleans are, in effect, revenge killings? No one quite knows the answer. But my sense is a high percentage involve disputes.”

Thomas said a small group of perpetrators is causing chaos across the city, and he wants more focus on these violent offenders.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Crime Commission reported a grim milestone: New Orleans’ homicide numbers so far in 2022 already exceeded the full-year total of 2020 (205-201). The NOPD disputed the MCC’s count, saying its tally had 203 homicides so far this year.

“Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles saw that coming, given the level of violence we have right now,” Thomas said. “If Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see the killer and the increasing rate of violence, then we need to be clear in seeing the people who are (doing the) killing, and harming us and carjacking us. We need to see them as clearly as they see each other.”

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