NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - New Orleans police are calling the fatal shooting of a would-be robber justifiable homicide, and so are neighbors.
But the District Attorney is upset.
People who live and work near the busy Gentilly Terrace intersection are surprised to learn a 17-year-old repeat offender named Jose Valerio was shot and killed here at 2 a.m. Thursday.
Police say Valerio tried to rob three women broken down with a flat tire.
Under the car was a man the women called to fix the tire, who happens to be a SUNO police officer.
“The guy under the car fixing the car shot the robber? Oh that`s perfect,” says a neighbor named Damon. “That changed the whole thing. I don`t mean to be mean, but I love when the bad guy gets shot.”
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro released a statement blasting the judicial system for Valerio’s woefully inadequate $50,000 bond for two previous armed robbery counts saying, “The real tragedy is that he should have never been out on the streets to be shot.”
Read Cannizzaro’s full statement below:
“Any homicide on the streets of New Orleans, whether or not it is justified, is a tragedy. What makes this a horrific tragedy is that it could have easily been prevented but for the systemic failure of one component of our criminal justice system. Jose Valerio was given a woefully inadequate $50,000 bond for two counts of armed robbery. He continually violated the conditions of that bond by testing positive for narcotics for which there was no consequence. Finally, he committed a third robbery, but the court denied the motion by the District Attorney’s office to revoke his bond in the armed robbery case.
When the report on the Valerio homicide is delivered to my office, we will review the case pursuant to our standard procedures. However, the real tragedy is that he should have never been out on the streets to be shot.”
“Bet he didn’t wake up and think he was going to get shot in the process of trying to rob somebody,” says Calvin Johnson at the Ju Ju Bag Café. “My biggest concern is about me leaving here late at night and it could have been me.”
The D.A. adds that he will review this homicide case with standard procedures.
Police are still looking for an accomplice who drove away.