Neighbors, pastor frustrated after Central City mass shooting

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 5:22 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When bullets started flying in the 2400 block of St. Andrew Street Thursday (Jan. 5) night, a neighbor says he and his wife had to take cover.

“It was like a war zone,” says an unidentified witness. “I literally got on the floor. I’ve got cuts underneath my arm from running to the back of my house. My wife almost got shot. It’s crazy.”

Five people were shot. One man died on the scene and another victim died at the hospital.

It’s the second mass shooting since the start of the new year.

More: 3 injured, 2 dead in Central City shooting, city’s second mass shooting in a week

“They have so much going on. It’s just sad really,” says Darrell Turner, President of the Crescent City Cowboys. “It is bad. Police are going to have to do more.”

People who live in the area say drugs are a serious problem.

“They selling drugs in plain sight. If you stop that, we could get it done,” says a neighbor.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” says Pastor Jamaal Weathersby.

Pastor Weathersby says some of the choir members of the New Hope Baptist Church had just left when the gunfire erupted. No one in his congregation was hurt, but he says the violence is too much.

“It seems like everywhere you go, there’s a potential of some sort of danger,” says Pastor Weathersby.

He says the NOPD can’t curb the violence alone and believes it will take the faith-based community’s help.

“The church, the residents, everybody has a part to play. I just think that we have to galvanize the community together and come to a place where we can figure out the best way to approach some of these problems,” says Pastor Weathersby.

He admits, he doesn’t know the solution.

Meanwhile, NOPD manpower is stretched thin. While Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the city will pay for officers from other jurisdictions to provide public safety this carnival season, she isn’t considering it to address the city’s ongoing crime problem.

“Recruitment. We put the biggest package together that really sets us apart nationally to recruit officers, as well as to retain our officers. So, that’s where we are placing our money,” says Mayor Cantrell.

People in Central City say preventing crime is their top priority. Some say, they can’t wait any longer.

“I’m done. I own eight properties in this area, and I’ve got to live like this. Come on,” says a neighbor.

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