A 16-year-old boy was killed and a 15-year-old boy was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition after they were shot by the occupant of a house they allegedly broke into to try to burglarize, New Orleans police said.
Police were called to the 7400 block of Woodbine Drive about 11:30 a.m. and found the teens shot in the house's backyard, said officer Hilal Williams, an NOPD spokeswoman.
Paramedics pronounced the older boy dead at the scene. He wore gray pants and a hooded purple LSU sweatshirt. They rushed the second boy to a local hospital in critical condition.
According to investigators, the youths cut the power to the house and then threw a brick through a back window.
The burglary victim, who according to a relative is in his early 20s, was sleeping in the house when he heard a commotion, police said. He found the two teens climbing in the window, grabbed a gun and opened fire, police said.
The teens escaped the house through the same window they entered through, but were not able to flee the scene because of their injuries. Another 16-year-old boy who allegedly worked as a lookout was arrested without incident, Williams said
The Orleans Parish coroner's office did not find any weapons on the teen who died, and police could not immediately say whether the second suspect was armed when he was shot.
The victim's cousin, who asked that his name not be used because of safety concerns, said his cousin recently bought a gun for protection.
"I told him not to get it, but he said, 'If I have a gun -- you never know (if you'll need it). It's New Orleans East,'" the cousin said.
One neighbor who stood near the scene said the neighborhood, with its renovated houses and tidy lawns, has recovered well post-Katrina but that home burglaries have been a problem.
Williams said she did not expect police to file any charges against the burglary victim, because he apparently fired his gun in self-defense. However, detectives will discuss the case with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office to decide if any action should be taken.
In 2006, then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed into law a bill that protects from prosecution anyone who kills an intruder "who has made unlawful entry into the dwelling ... and the person committing the homicide reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the entry or to compel the intruder to leave the premises."
Now I'm sure that by tonight, the families of the dead criminals will be all over the news, sobbing about how the deceased were good boys who were just getting ready to turn their lives around, but the real issue here is that today there is another man alive because he had one of those guns that many of our Congressmen want to keep us from having. Of course none of those Congressmen live in New Orleans East, or comparable neighborhoods with their own districts. Most live in gated communities or other well-heeled, neighborhoods that are far from where most criminals live and boast superior police protection.
But most of us will never be able to afford the level of security that our public servants enjoy on our dime. That's why it's incumbent upon us all to learn how to protect ourselves, and why Congress needs to back away from attempts to deny us the tools needed to do this.
In my case, Murphy's showing early signs of being a good watchdog--real good. But I can't just leave it all up to him. That's why I've invested heavily in quality self-defense training over the years and acquired quality tools that I can bring to bear when things go bump in the night or the patio door shatters.
And it's why I advocate for the gun rights of every other law-abiding citizen of this country, even those so stupid that they vote for Obama and other anti-gun legislators who will disarm them the moment that they have even a scant majority in Congress.
Remember, folks...when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. But when they get there, rest assured that they'll probably write a pretty good report and take lots of neat pictures of the crime scene.
Whether or not your part of that crime scene is up to you.