Social worker killed in New Orleans shooting days before 1-year wedding anniversary
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A social worker was among two people killed in a shooting that also left a third victim fighting for her life on Lundi Gras (Feb. 20).
Two days before her one-year wedding anniversary, Melissa Stiller received a devastating phone call from the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office.
“My husband was gone,” she said.
Her husband, Andrew Stiller, a 35-year-old social worker, musician, and Uber driver, had picked up a rideshare passenger Monday night around 5:40 p.m. along the N I-10 Service Road at Bundy Road, near the Little Woods neighborhood of New Orleans East.
“Somebody on the outside of the car just started spraying it with bullets,” Melissa recalls. “They tried to kill the passenger is what I’m gathering.”
Andrew had picked up 21-year-old Johnell Hampton. As they were pulling off, gunshots riddled Stiller’s vehicle, killing both him and Hampton.
“My husband just because he was doing his job to provide for his family... he was murdered,” she said.
New Orleans police say Stiller’s Dodge Durango then crashed through a fence and onto the interstate where it collided with a white Nissan. Melissa believes her husband’s foot slammed on the gas after he was shot dead.
But the gunman did not stop shooting.
A woman in the Nissan was also shot in the head during the hail of gunfire. She remains in the hospital fighting for her life.
Melissa, who was also a rideshare driver, says she has been too scared to work in New Orleans East - too scared to even drive through the area.
“I had to go out to the coroner’s office to get his belongings and the whole time, I’ve got my son and daughter with me and I was shaking... ‘let me get through this area. Let me get through this area,’” she said.
Former NOPD Chief and now Loyola Professor Ronal Serpas believes shootings on or near the interstate create fear among the community - and the criminals are fearless.
“I think the interstate shootings are just an extension of the brazen criminals. New Orleans is on the brink of the loss of social order in so many ways,” Serpas said. “Really I think it speaks to a perception by these people that there is no consequence for their behavior.”
“When does it stop?” Melissa questioned. “When does it end? Now I have three kids that can never say ‘I love you daddy’ or ‘goodnight’ again.”
Melissa wants justice but worries about what the future holds.
“What are they going to do? Is my husband’s murderer going to walk free or is he going to get a slap on the wrist and get out in a year?” she asked.
The pain is nearly too much to bear.
“Andrew was a light to this world,” Melissa remembers of her husband. “You cannot find a single soul to say anything bad about him.”
The NOPD says the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the NOPD’s homicide division at (504) 658-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
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