Algiers woman says she was warned before gunfire erupted

Algiers woman says she was warned before gunfire erupted
Updated: Dec. 12, 2016 at 5:18 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Gunfire erupted on a street off General Meyer Avenue on Sunday night, killing one man and wounding two others.

The damage stretched for two blocks on Flanders Street, and many are thankful more weren't hurt.

It is a room that she considered a safe haven for her two mentally disabled grandchildren. But around 9 p.m., the calm of Paulette Cooper's house was shattered by gunfire outside.

"They was playing in there earlier that day. I'm going to shut this room off. I got to take care of my grandkids," said Cooper, as she pointed out the bullet holes in her house.

Twenty-two-year-old Robert Rochon was killed in a hail of bullets that damaged several cars.

"It was like automatics - boom boom boom, boom, boom," said a woman who asked not to be identified.

The woman was lucky. She got a warning.

"I was standing in the yard right here, and the guy across the street came and said, 'Go in the house. They riding around with guns,'" she said.

Within seconds, the Sunday night quiet was over, as shots were fired down the street.

"I ran in the house, and two seconds later: boom, boom, boom boom," said the woman

When the gunfire was over, Rochon was dead and a passenger wounded in a car that crashed through a fence before coming to rest on an apartment staircase two blocks from where the shooting began.

"It's too many guns and too many weak mindsets. People need to get their minds right," said long-time Algiers resident Pamela Draughn.

For Cooper, this shooting is especially tragic. She recently moved to the Algiers neighborhood thinking it might offer a better life for her grandchildren.

"I don't know what to do now," said Cooper.

Now, she's got a new problem.

"I hope the kids aren't in here, because if the bullet is in here, they can swallow that, huh?" said Cooper.

As police continue their investigation, others on Flanders Street give thanks.

"I have to thank the man upstairs and my mother, and grandmother. They promised to always look over me," said Cooper.

This shooting was bad, but they believe it could have been worse.

A  third victim drove himself to the hospital and was reported in stable condition. The New Orleans Police Department said an investigation is ongoing.

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