UPDATE: The New Orleans Police Department announced the arrest of 18-year-old Donell E. Barthelemy on Wednesday night. According to a report received from the NOPD at 9:48 p.m., the suspect was arrested for two homicides, including the one that resulted in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old girl in the 400 block of Burgundy Street on Tuesday.
The other incident occurred on Sept. 30 in the 2400 block of Ursulines Avenue.
Barthelemy was booked in the Orleans Parish Justice Center on one count of second-degree murder in the former investigation and negligent homicide in the death of the toddler.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A 3-year-old child is dead in the French Quarter with her brothers being questioned by police soon after. Witnesses recall the horrific moments they heard people screaming. Now, police are trying to figure out what led to the fatal incident.
On Tuesday, April 26, the New Orleans Police Department began investigating the deadly shooting in the French Quarter. According to NOPD, a child was shot in the 400 block of Burgundy Street shortly before 4 p.m.
WGNO’s Anna McAllister was on the scene.
Witnesses say they saw and heard a man run out of a building on the 400 block of Burgundy with a girl in his arms bleeding.
“As soon as I went to walk out the gate, I heard screaming,” nearby witness Jake Stout recalled.
“I heard overall that were was a two-year-old who had a gun in her hands from her family. [The girl] that ended up being shot.”
The child, who police confirmed was 3 years old, was taken to an area hospital where she later died. Her name has not yet been released.
Police detained the girl’s teenage brothers who are 18 and 17 years old for questioning. The 17-year-old was later released.
Eyewitnesses told WGNO that they heard the one brother say “Help my sister, help my sister! It fell, it fell!” It’s unclear what they were referring to what fell at the time, but police said the shooting happened inside of a home where the family was staying.
“I saw him bending over what I presumed to be someone who was injured,” Stout continued. “It sounded like he was in distress, that he had been a part of what had happened. Something along the lines that he shot, that he was responsible for the gun or that it was his fault.”
“There’s never any point that any firearm should be around anybody that’s at an age where you’re not cognizant,” said another witness.
NOPD says a weapon was recovered at the scene. Police have not yet determined a suspect or motive in the case.
The case has been classified as a homicide as police continue to learn more details about the young girl’s tragic death.
NOPD continues to investigate the shooting and are asking anyone with additional information to contact
Detective Michael Haynes at 504-658-5300. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crimestoppers by submitting an online tip form, or by calling 504-822-1111.
On Wednesday, April 27, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement on the child’s death, saying:
I am overwhelmed with grief for the tragic death on Burgundy Street [Tuesday] afternoon. This is a heartbreaking loss and no words I can say will be enough. I pray this child rests in God’s perfect peace, and that we do everything in our power to help her family. All of our law enforcement and public health partners stand as one on this.