Authorities ID New Orleans shooting victim
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans authorities on Thursday released the name of the 21-year-old woman who died after being shot on Bourbon Street in the popular French Quarter over the weekend and said they questioned a “person of interest.”
Brittany Thomas of Louisiana, died Wednesday at University Interim Hospital in New Orleans, where she was taken after Sunday’s shooting, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Thomas was among 10 people, including one Australian, hit by bullets when two gunmen opened fire on each other around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in the city’s famed French Quarter. Thomas had been in critical condition since the shooting.
“Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the family of Brittany Thomas. This type of tragedy strikes at the heart of who we are as a people and as a city. Now more than ever we need the community to come forward with information to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Landrieu said in a statement.
The shootings happened as tourists walked the historic street of century-old, neon-bedecked buildings, housing bars, restaurants, shops and strip clubs in the heart of the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Authorities said Justin Odom, 20, identified by authorities as a “person of interest” in connection with the shooting, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday and was booked into the Jefferson Parish jail on shoplifting and traffic-related charges.
New Orleans Police Department spokesman Hilal Williams said detectives questioned Odom in the presence of his attorney.
Police said earlier they were looking for another man with whom Odom associates and who is known as either Josh or Joe.
The New Orleans Advocate (http://bit.ly/1qB0qMn ) reported that court records show Odom pleaded guilty in March to a pair of marijuana possession counts stemming from arrests this year and last year in Jefferson Parish. He received credit for time served.
Interim Hospital spokeswoman Siona LaFrance said Wednesday that a 21-year-old Australian woman was released from the hospital. Other victims, not hospitalized, included two New Orleans-area men; a teenage girl and a woman from Alabama; and a Florida man.
The Australian woman, identified by The West Australian (http://yhoo.it/1mRHNBd) as Amy Williams, of Mount Hawthorn, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia, did not immediately respond Wednesday to messages sent via her Facebook page or “Repair Amy’s smile,” a Facebook page created to raise money to reconstruct her teeth.
She told the newspaper that all or part of a bullet went in through her right cheek and out through her top lip, knocking out most of her teeth, burning her gums and requiring 30 stitches in her tongue and a metal support for the roof of her mouth.
Three of the shooting victims were reported in stable condition Wednesday: a 35-year-old man from Mississippi, a 19-year-old Arkansas woman, and an 18-year-old New Orleans man.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas said an 500 extra officers would be on duty in key spots as thousands of visitors hit town for the annual Essence Festival, which begins Thursday. State police also will be helping with Essence security.