Covering Louisiana

Jul 3, 2014 12:00 AM by Alex Labat

More Troopers Heading to New Orleans for Holiday Weekend

One victim is dead, and New Orleans Police say a person of interest in the Bourbon Street shooting on Sunday has turned himself in to police.

20-year-old Justin Odom surrendered to Gretna Police Tuesday Night. Homicide detectives interviewed him, and while no charges have been filed against him in the Bourbon Street case, he was booked on unrelated charges.
Investigators are also looking for an associate of Odom's named "Josh" or "Joe". That's all they know about him at this point.
The two are being investigated in connection with the gunfire that wounded 5 men and 5 women. One of those women died Wednesday afternoon.

21-year-old Brittany Thomas died around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at a New Orleans hospital. Her death was made known during a press conference Wednesday. Superintendent of State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson asking for a moment of silence to remember Thomas.

That press conference was in response to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu requesting 100 State Troopers on the streets of New Orleans.

"What happened is infuriating. It makes you want to scream or cry...or both," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The sights and sounds of that shooting Sunday night have weighed on the minds of Landrieu and the people of New Orleans. And after the death of Thomas Wednesday afternoon, Landrieu is doubling down on safety in New Orleans, especially with the Essence Festival and the Fourth of July weekend right just days away.

"I have sent a letter to President Obama, with a copy of a letter that I sent last year, requesting that the federal government get back in the business of fighting crime on the streets of America," says Landrieu.

Landrieu is asking for 100 troopers to permanently patrol the streets of New Orleans. Superintendent of State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson says they can only provide 30 temporarily.

But some say the key to finding these suspects and keeping New Orleans safe lies with a permanent presence already in the area---the people of New Orleans.

"You may live on Decatur Street or you may live on Rampart Street. But think about those pictures that you've seen in those videos and check your cameras just to double check," says Superintendent Ronal Serpas with the New Orleans Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite says, "You are in the middle of a battle. The new battle for the city of New Orleans. Either you are for a safe and peaceful New Orleans or you are against us. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option."

Troop I says as of now, no troopers from our area are being sent to New Orleans. Part of the reason only 30 troopers are being sent to new orleans, and not the requested 100, is because of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
State Police will be looking for impaired drivers across the state this holiday weekend.

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