NEW ORLEANS - At around 10:45 Wednesday morning, three men unleashed a hail of gunfire, ambushing and killing an armored truck guard as he unloaded cash in the parking lot of the Chase Bank at Carrollton and South Claiborne.
The shooting - in a very visible, high-traffic area - rattled neighbors.
"As soon as we found out, went inside, locked all the doors," said neighbor Joseph Schlumbrecht.
The victim, 45-year-old Hector Trochez, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, while another guard in the truck escaped physically unharmed.
"She was screaming and hollering and crying, and she stated that her partner had been shot," said a relative of the uninjured guard, who frantically rushed to the scene shortly after the attack. "She said they were shooting at the truck. I'm just blessed she's alive. I feel so bad for her partner, but I thank god that she's still here."
Police say the gunmen grabbed the cash and fled, ditching their getaway Chevy Tahoe in a neighborhood several blocks away. They then left that area in gray Hyundai with temporary license plate number 1402 1654, according to authorities.
Investigators recovered the abandoned SUV, as well as evidence left behind at the original crime scene.
Shell casings littered the bank parking lot, and it appeared officers found bullets lodged in the outside wall of a house next door.
"it definitely scares you," Schlumbrecht said. "I mean, it's definitely something you're going to worry about until you hear, obviously, they've been apprehended."
Hours after the shooting, bank workers who had been locked down inside the building were finally allowed to leave late Wednesday afternoon.
For Chris Calott, who recently moved to the area from Albuquerque, the situation was disturbing.
"I'm shocked. I live a block away. This is my bank," he said. "I guess this is my introduction to New Orleans."
Authorities describe the three suspects as African-American men, 5'7" – 5'9". All were wearing dark jackets with hoods, and one of the men may have had dreadlocks, officials said.