Downward Murder Trend Overshadowed By Deadly Shooting

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New Orleans Police are investigating a shooting death in New Orleans East.

The investigation has overshadowed reports of a downward trend in Murders for the first quarter of the year.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has reaction from citizens who doubt the numbers are accurate.

“If really thought we were headed in the right direction but apparently we’re not with our youngsters today, if just don’t know what to say,” witness Steve Joiner said.

Joiner was optimistic about the downward trend in New Orleans murders until gunfire erupted at a crowded car-wash in New Orleans East.

“We all could have gotten shot, if was standing over there on my phone.”

It happened around 1:30 Tuesday in the 72-hundred block of Chef Menteur Highway.

Witnesses say it started with an argument and ended with one man dead.

He collapsed between a bicycle and Joiner’s taxi cab.

“I heard the shot and when I look up bow, bow, bow, bow, bow you know and he fell right by my car.”

It comes soon after reports about fewer murders during the first three months of the year.

New Orleans Police are reporting 26 killings year to date, compared to 43 during the same time last year.

That’s a 39-percent drop.

“A lie, politics,” neighbor Leonard Wiltz said.

Wiltz is skeptical to say the least.

“I run the street. I be out all times of night. I know it’s a lie.”

Joiner has his doubts too.

“I say no, I say it’s not,” Joiner added. “I say we got a long way to go.”

We checked NOPD Records and saw the downward trend.

In 2011, there were 199 murders. That number dropped to 193 in 2012, and murders were down to 155 last year.

“Don’t let the mayor and the chief fool you about that, cause it’s not,” Joiner said.

“They’re willing to do whatever they have to do to get the big dollars here,” Wiltz said.

Joiner says Tuesday’s murder is reality. It’s the cause of real fear he’s dealt with 52-years on one of the city’s most dangerous jobs.

“I gotta worry about that each day when I get in my cab, them doing me something like that you know.”

Superintendent Ronal Serpas maintains the number of homicides is correct.

There has been no arrest in Tuesday’s shooting death.