NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans community is still in shock following the death of Second City Court Reserve Constable and Tulane University Police Officer Martinus Mitchum.
Officer Mitchum was brutally shot and killed Friday night while working security detail at a George Washington Carver High School basketball game.
It all started shortly after 6 pm, when police say suspect 35-year-old John Shallerhorn showed up at the game.
“Shallerhorn was instructed by school employees to comply with the entry procedures. He then initiated a violent confrontation by striking the employee in the face,” said New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
That’s when Officer Mitchum got involved, trying to deescalate the situation by attempting to remove Shallerhorn from the building.
Shallerhorn then pulled out a gun and shot two times. One shot hit officer Mitchum in his chest, and he later died at University Medical Center Hospital. Superintendent Ferguson says Officer Mitchum’s actions likely saved others.
“It is my personal belief he was a hero on this day, because I can only imagine what could have happened had he made entry into that game,”
Supt. Ferguson adds that Shallerhorn is also being charged in an armed robbery that happened in the area shortly before the murder.
Those who knew Officer Mitchum remember him not just for his dedication to protect and serve, but for his character.
“If I could have an entire police department made up of him and his clones, we’d have an awesome police department. Mitch was an incredible guy, he really was,” said Tulane University Police Chief Kirk Bouyelas.
Police are still unsure why Shallerhorn showed up to the game in the first place. Police also believe there are other witnesses to the shooting and their asking them to come forward.
As far as funeral arrangements, Officer Mitchum’s family is in town from Detroit, and they plan to have the service here in New Orleans.
There will be a balloon release for Officer Mitchum this Wednesday, March 3 at 5:45 pm at the location of the old O. Perry Walker High School.