Howard Johnson Shooting Remembered Four Decades Later

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Forty years ago a lone sniper on a killing spree terrorized downtown New Orleans.

The nine-people killed were remembered during a memorial service at the N.O.P.D. headquarters on Monday, the forty year anniversary.

The N.O.P.D. says too many policemen died at the hands of Essex on between January 31st, 1972 and January 7, 1973 doing their job, “Well, that’s what happened at Howard Johnson’s. A lot of people did their job,” says Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

The notion that 23-year-old Mark Essex went on a New Year’s Eve sniper rampage in, ending seven days later in a bloody shootout on top of the Howard Johnson hotel, is still shocking, “And the shock of that day stays with the city of New Orleans forever,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu memorial service. “Today is a day worthy of remembrance.”

Serpas read aloud the names of each of the 5 policemen killed, “K-9 Officer Edwin Hosli, killed in the line of duty. Officer Phillip Coleman, killed in the line of duty. Officer Paul Persigo, killed in the line of duty. Deputy Superintendent Lewis Sirgo, killed in the Line of Duty. And Police Cadet Alfred Harrell, killed in the line of duty.”

A wreath was placed at the police memorial under the eternal flame to commemorate the passing.