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Dispute in Kenner Turns DeadlyKENNER, La. (WGNO) - No charges have been filed against a Kenner woman who fatally shot her husband.

Investigators say the shooting ended a history of domestic violence between the couple.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked to experts about options for victims of domestic violence who can’t fight back.

Kenner Police were still collecting evidence late Tuesday morning, after a night long investigation.

They were called to the 2400 block of Kentucky Avenue for a domestic-related disturbance.

When officers arrived they found 38-year old Lyndell Desilva had been shot multiple times. His wife Melissa was frantic.

“She was trying to render aid to her husband. She says she didn’t mean for this to happen. She feared for her life, as well as her children,” Kenner Police Sgt. Brian McGregor said.

The children, ages 4 to 14, reportedly dialed 911 around 2:30 a.m.; when their father allegedly showed up armed with a gun.

An argument turned physical, and then came the gunfire.

“She wound up firing her own weapon, shooting him multiple times. He was transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” McGregor said.

Kenner Police say there was no history of domestic violence at the home. That’s because family members say it went unreported.

“We always recommend that they call the police. I mean sometimes when we respond it doesn’t always mean someone’s going to be arrested,” McGregor said.

“There are many reasons why people don’t call the police,” Rebecca Rainer said.

Rainer is Program Director for Metropolitan Center for Women & Children; an emergency domestic violence shelter.

She says intervention, harm reduction, and safety planning should be considered when problems at home spiral out of control.

It could mean the difference between life and death.

“Document things if you’re not going to call the police. Try to keep documentation of incidents and things like that,” Rainer said.

“I mean we all have been involved in altercations, verbal altercations with our spouse and so forth. Not always do you call the police; but it’s starting to escalate, when you’re going physical with the individual or they’re out of control, it’s best to just give us a call,” McGregor said.

Kenner police have turned the case over to the District Attorney’s office for review.

No charges have been filed against the victims’ estranged wife.

The Metropolitan Center for Women and Children have emergency domestic violence shelter’s throughout the metro area. For more information about services, call the 24-hour crisis hotline (504) 837-5400.


JPSO Tests Out Drone at Marrero Crime Scene

MARRERO, La. (WGNO) – Can drones help investigators at major crimes scenes?

Today the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office launched a drone to capture video of a crime scene from overhead. They say it’s a first. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano brings us the images and the great drone debate.

To some it may seem like something from out of this world. For the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon was a test drive.

JPSO authorities tell us deputies launched a drone for the first time over a crime scene in Marrero where 16-year old Stefan Johnson was killed.

Retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Jim Bernazzani says the feds have been using drones for some time now, but it’s the first time he’s heard of local law enforcement agents launching them here.

“Two things with the drones. One: they’re very cost efficient. One drone takes the place of approximately 20 surveillance personnel, and the second is that law enforcement doesn’t have to announce their presence now. They can fly in very quietly, do the surveillance they need to do, get the information back to the tactical people on the ground, and move forward,” explains Bernazzani.

Bernazzani says as long as their use remains public to public, meaning they wouldn’t be peaking inside someone’s home, they’re legal.

Marjorie Esman with the ACLU is concerned about privacy of the innocent.

“There’s no reason for the government to be engaging in surveillance of large areas and maybe watching what people are doing if they’re not suspected of any wrong doing, so the question has to be what will the drone get them that they couldn’t have gotten without it and what will happen to the images that they collect once their investigation into that particular crime is concluded,” questions Esman.

JPSO authorities are keeping tight-lipped about their drone operation for now, but they do tell us they’re exploring the possibility of using drones and would only use them for aerial video of a crime scene.

Bernazzani says eventually drone use may stop crimes before they happen.

“You may see, eventually down the road, drones in the skies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just hanging around watching. As long as it’s legal, it’s public to public, there really isn’t a constitutional concern,” says Bernazzani.

Several states have placed restrictions on drones. Here in Louisiana lawmakers discussed the drone debate this past session yet no restrictions were put in place. For now the use of drones remains unregulated in Louisiana.

Drones have been used by several police departments across the United States, including the Houston Police Department. For a complete list of police departments and other government agencies using drones click here and here.

Below is raw footage of the drone:

SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) - Slidell police say they arrested a woman who left her five-month-old baby in a hot car at a strip mall in the city.

According to police, 44-year-old Gloria Elzy told them that she forgot the child was in the car.  An alert bystander is credited with noticing the child and notifying police who used what’s called a lockout device to open the door.

Chief Randy Smith says he can’t believe that anyone could forget about having a child in their car.  He says the child was unresponsive and sweaty and had been in the car for about 30 minutes.

The city’s office of child services is also involved in the investigation.  Elzy faces a felony charge of second degree cruelty to juveniles and remained in jail late Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the child receive emergency treatment and made a full recovery.



police_lightsNEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - A 18-year-old boy was shot multiple times Tuesday evening in the lower 9th Ward, according to police.

It happened around 7:20 p.m. as the teen was walking in the 6300 block of Chartres Street.

Police say the victim was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Nine people were injured when two men open fire into a crowd early Sunday morning in the French Quarter, according to police.

The shooting happened around 2:45 a.m. in the 700 block of Bourbon Street near the World Famous Cats Meow and Pat O’Brien’s.

At last check two of the victims were in critical condition (including a woman), six were in stable condition, and the condition of the ninth victim was not known.

Police said not all the victims are from New Orleans.

“These are two cowardly young men who chose to settle a dispute with total disregard for human life,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “Our officers are working around the clock to identify and arrest the suspects involved in this shooting. We will hold them accountable and we will bring them to justice.”

The shooting and its aftermath were caught on a camera. WATCH video from the streaming site EarthCam HERE and HERE

Mayor Mitch Landrieu sent WGNO News this statement:

“Our number one priority is to keep New Orleans safe.  These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered.  NOPD was in the immediate vicinity at the time of the incident, and I am confident that between video evidence and eyewitness accounts, we will bring the perpetrators to justice. Our crime fighting efforts have brought murders in the city of New Orleans to a historic nearly 30-year low.  But on days like today, the statistics don’t matter because every life is precious – from the 9th Ward to the French Quarter.  We will not rest until every corner of this city is safe.”

The New Orleans Police Department release the below video late Sunday night.

Police spokesman Frank Robertson said the department enhanced the video to illustrate the shooter(s).

“When viewing the video you can see the gunman standing alone. Towards the end of the video you can see the shooter running and firing towards the sidewalk, you will clearly see the muzzle flash on the video,” Robertson said in a release.

WARNING: Parts of this video maybe too graphic for some viewers.


SHRIEVER, La. (WGNO) - A man is accused of leaving an accident scene then crashing into a home, killing a two-year old little girl.

Shriever, La is where remaining family is picking-up the pieces.

“I wasn’t expecting my daughter to be dead,” says father Lance Strickland who valiantly relives how his two-year old daughter Taylor was killed, asleep in bed, when a pickup truck crashed into their home.

“He jumped the ditch. That’s just where he hit the mud at and he just never stopped,” say Strickland.

“The truck came through and then the baby was right over there,” says and Uncle. “It threw the baby right up against that wall.”

Strickland says his wife Brittany suffered multiple broken ribs and a fractured spine, “I seen smoke and headlights next to me my wife was on the other end of the room on top of the TV.”

State Police say the driver of the truck is 20 Tony Milligan from Houma, who was fleeing after crashing into another car a half mile up the road.

“A twenty year old drunk driver killed my baby little girl,” says Strickland. “He was arguing with the people at the hospital saying he didn’t want to be there, I wasn’t drinking and I shouldn’t have to take a Breathalyzer.”

Milligan is charged with vehicular homicide on a $300,000 bond.

There were four other children in the home at the time of the crash.

To help Taylor’s family with medical costs and repairs you can donate at any Capital One Bank in Taylor Strickland’s name.


Car Stolen with 2-year-old Girl Inside

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - New Orleans police are hoping you can help them catch two men who they stole a car in Central City with a two-year-old girl in the backseat.

It was about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Surveillance video caught a black Infiniti pulling into the Shell station on the 2100 block of South Claiborne Avenue in Central City. Police say the driver leaves his engine running, headlights on, and his two-year-old daughter alone as he heads inside to pay for gas.

Meanwhile the driver of a stolen red PT Cruiser parked at a nearby pump is caught exiting the Chrysler, running towards the black Infiniti, and taking off with the car and the child. This as a passenger in the PT Cruiser gets into the driver’s seat and also speeds away.

80-year-old Dolores Givens lives in the area. Dolores says, “Poor little innocent child, but then you got to be careful not to leave those kids. You can’t let the kids out of your sight.”

“I’ve jumped out of my car and left it running, but I didn’t have my children in the car, but even though I can’t say I wouldn’t have. People don’t think about things at the time,” says concerned father Maurice Lee.

Police say while the father may be facing charges their focus is on finding the two suspects facing theft and simple kidnapping.

As for the toddler, police say the little girl was found in good condition about two miles away by a passerby wandering alone, on the sidewalk near the intersection of St. Louis and Treme Streets.

Cmdr. Robert Bardy with the NOPD says, “Basically, this is a crime of opportunity and it’s something that we should, as citizens, should be more aware of. Who would get out in a gas station and leave their car running? More so, who would leave their child inside the car? So this is something that may have, and could have been prevented if someone could just take a little more precaution.”

Police are looking for a black 2003 Infinity G35 with Louisiana plate XXM725. Police say there was a gun inside the car.

They’re also looking for a red Chrysler PT Cruiser with Louisiana tag XTF472. They say this car was also stolen.

If you have any information call Crimestoppers at (504)822-1111


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The FBI’s five day nationwide underage prostitution sting recovered 168 underage victims.

“Three juveniles here in Louisiana,” says FBI Agent John Selleck. “One each in New Orleans, Shreveport and Baton Rouge.”

“It’s a very lucrative business so they have a lot of capital,” says one former strip club insider who worked behind the scenes for close to ten years.

He says recruiters target vulnerable kids new to the city, “They catch ‘em young and  unaware. They come with a helping hand. But that comes at a cost. At first it`s small favors.”

Selleck says 281 pimps were arrested nationwide, 16 in Louisiana, “They leverage those vulnerabilities against them and they do it effectively.”

As part of the operation, FBI agents focused on hotels, truck stops, casinos and places pimps operate, as well as escort service websites.

“I’m gullible and didn’t have anything else,” says one Bourbon Street dancer who remains nameless. “I just had no money, I had nowhere to stay.”

Now 25, the dancer says she moved to New Orleans from Kansas while still underage and was quickly lured in, “It was either go with him and do what he wants you to do, or have nothing and be broke and be by yourself.”

She says besides the internet, a majority of underage sex crimes are arranged on Bourbon Street, behind closed doors of popular strip clubs, “The pimps who have these girls in the clubs have their 16 or 17 year-olds at home. You don’t have a choice, I was young, very impressionable. I didn’t know anything else. I grew up in a really small town.”

“Before they know it they find themselves in a position they can’t escape it,” says Selleck.

The Bourbon Street dancer says she’s been in that very position, “He would strip me naked and beat me with cell phone charger and stuff like that.”

“We have clubs that do private VIP rooms with Little Mermaid wallpaper,” says the former strip club employee who’s seen firsthand. “People come here to do things that they can’t or won’t do in their own home.”

Those who know the New Orleans sex industry says local policy’s must change just to slow down underage sex crimes, “I don’t think you need to be a dancer or anything in the business until you are 21. if you got to be 21 to enter it you should be 21 to work there.”

“Greatly increase the severity and number of sentences handed out to those who affiliate with any form of juvenile sex crimes,” says the former strip club worker.

Across Louisiana, agents rescued a total of three children, and arrested 16 pimps and 75 prostitutes.

“Typically the juveniles we are recovering are from all different walks of life, of all different ethnicities,” says Selleck. “I’ve never found one that’s been recovered that’s told me it was a fantastic lifestyle.”

“But if we didn’t get you this time,” he adds. “Better look over your shoulder because we’re coming for you.”


David Jackson

David Jackson

KENNER, La. (WGNO) – A man on parole for drugs and weapon charges is accused of shooting at a pickup truck Saturday afternoon injuring a 10-year-old boy.

Officials say the shooting happened around 2 p.m. when both vehicles; a red pickup truck and a green Acura, passed each other several times in an alleged road rage incident on Interstate-10.

Once reaching Kenner, police say the man driving the Acura open fired at the pickup striking the boy in the backseat. The boy suffered a graze wound to the nose area, according to doctors and underwent surgery. He is expected to recover.

The shooter then attempted to flee the scene, but the pickup rammed the Acura several times getting the attention of police.

Authorities charged 26-year-old David Jackson with aggravated criminal damage to property, attempt second degree murder, illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies, illegal carrying of weapons, multiple traffic violations, and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine (19 grams). After Jackson’s arrest he informed officers he had crack cocaine concealed on his person which was later seized.

Jackson was on parole until August 2016 for distribution of drugs and felony possession of a firearm.

Jackson’s 25-year-old girlfriend, and his 6-year-old and 5 month old sons were also in the car during the shooting.

Kenner Police are investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the driver of the pickup truck. No other injuries were reported.