NEW ORLEANS – Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement saying that New Orleans is not “the Wild West” after five people were shot and an armed robbery suspect killed during a gunfight on Canal Street Sunday night.
Here is Cantrell’s statement in full:
“In the wake of last night’s tragic events, it is important that we acknowledge and understand the work our New Orleans Police Department is doing to keep our people safe. Far from being ‘the Wild West’, our City sleeps under the protection of an interconnected web of law enforcement agencies whose effectiveness is on display every day.
“Our hearts go out to the victims wounded last night, two of whom required surgery. We are closely monitoring the victims and staying in contact with their families. They matter. Their lives matter. Investigation into this incident remains active and ongoing.
“As well, we are sending our love to the NOPD officer who was involved in a car accident while en route to respond last night. He is in good spirits, and in fact his first comment to his commander was: ‘sorry about the car.’ He’s scratched up and shaken, but in good health— thanks in no small part to the efforts of a good Samaritan at the scene who immediately pulled the officer from the wreckage and got him to safety.
“Nights like last night, weekends like this one, can be a frightening and sobering confrontation with the gun violence our NOPD officers are working tirelessly to combat. And we’re not doing it alone, as demonstrated last night. We were in tight coordination with the Louisiana State Police, who helped end the confrontation.
“Last night’s shooting did not happen in isolation. We have a responsibility to tackle threats to public safety across the board. My public safety team is working pro-actively to address incidents including this weekend’s shooting at a second-line, the ongoing dangers created by drag racing, and the homicide on Almonaster.
“I want to assure all of our residents and our guests that we are well-coordinated, well-trained and ready for Carnival, and that we will not allow this ugliness to mar our celebration or to endanger our people.
“The NOPD is the gold standard for providing safety during mass crowd events, and in coordination with the Louisiana State Police and our other law enforcement partners, we are making a difference and making our City safer every day. For the year to date, we’ve seen less than half the murders that we had at the same time last year— and our homicide clearance rate is at nearly 70%. That’s not an accident, that’s the work of a department committed to constitutional policing and to making our public safety top priority.”