NOPD investigates after overnight gunfire strikes re-opened Audubon Insectarium

Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 1:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Early morning visitors to the newly reopened Audubon Insectarium were startled Saturday (June 10) as New Orleans police officers and crime lab technicians arrived to investigate gunfire that struck the building.

Spokesperson Melissa Lee said the damage occurred sometime in the overnight hours when no patrons or staff were present, but that the facility and exhibits operated normally Saturday.

“We are fully open,” Lee said. “It was some kind of incident that happened overnight. It looks like it was something that started somewhere else, but we had a couple of bullet holes and there was a broken window on the second floor.

“But nothing happened inside the building. Whatever it was was overnight, when no one was here.”

The Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium at 1 Canal Street in the French Quarter are in the midst of their grand re-openings this weekend, following a $41 million renovation. Expected to resume as among the city’s top tourist attractions, the facilities cut the ribbon on their new exhibits Thursday at 10 a.m.

Lee said that while the attractions generally open at 10 a.m., there is a special 8 a.m. opening on weekends during the month of June for Audubon Institute members. It was these early morning patrons who witnessed the police investigation, only because the damage could not be cleaned up before police arrived to examine and collect the evidence.

The NOPD did not immediately respond when asked for details about the incident.

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