Covering Louisiana

Aug 10, 2014 8:58 PM by Cecilia Stevenson

4 Lafayette Friends involved in tragic hotel shooting; 1 dead, 1 injured

Early Sunday morning, the New Orleans Police Department and SWAT team were dispatched to a "shots fired" call in the Westin Hotel located in the 100 block of Iberville Street.

The hotel shootings happened in a 17th-floor room at The Westin on Canal Street, where four friends from the Lafayette area were staying together for the weekend, Officer Frank Robertson said.

Three of them came in from partying, waking the fourth about 5 a.m. The man returned to sleep only to be awakened by the plea, "Put the gun down." The 20-year-old, looking "dazed and confused under the influence of some unknown substance," was pointing a gun at their 24-year-old friend, Robertson said. The older man kept asking his friend to put the gun down, Robertson said, but about 6:30 a.m., the 20-year-old man shot him in the chest.

The other two ran for help, hearing a second shot as they fled. When hotel staff let police into the room, the 20-year-old pointed a gun at them, Robertson said. The officers backed out and called a SWAT team. After about three hours of negotiations, the 20-year-old man apparently shot himself and the SWAT team stormed in. He was pronounced dead about 9:55 a.m. Rescue workers rushed the 24-year-old to a hospital where he was in stable condition Sunday evening.

Police have not identified the men.

During the course of the investigation detectives found two pistols inside of the room.

The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office will conduct and autopsy and toxicology exam to determine the exact cause of death.

The investigation is still ongoing.



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