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Suspect arrested in Bourbon St. shootings

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 20-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with a gunfight that erupted on Bourbon Street, killing one bystander and wounding nine others on the thoroughfare of nightspots that is one of New Orleans' biggest tourist draws.

Police chief Ronal Serpas said Trung T. Le was arrested Friday afternoon in Mississippi. He will be extradited to Louisiana, where he faces one charge of first-degree murder and nine charges of attempted first-degree murder.

Le, who turns 21 in August, is from the city of Belle Chasse, near New Orleans.

Police said Le is believed to have fired the first shot in an exchange of gunfire that shattered the good-time atmosphere early Sunday in the French Quarter. Serpas said police are still working to identify another person involved in the gunfight.

"We will not stop until everybody who was involved in this has been brought to justice," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He had joined Serpas on Friday for a public roll call of officers on duty as the city enters the 4th of July weekend while hosting the annual Essence Festival that draws thousands of visitors to the city.

Bourbon St. Shooting Injures Nine

Stressing that police know who Le's associates are, Serpas issued a warning that anyone with knowledge of the crime should come forward or face possible prosecution.

Most of those hit in the Sunday morning shooting spree were visitors to the city, including Brittany Thomas, 21, from the south Louisiana city of Hammond, who died Wednesday. Others were from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Australia. One person remained hospitalized Friday in stable condition.

The shooting happened days ahead of the Essence Festival - a major summer tourist event that opened Thursday. A contingent of 30 state police was assembled Wednesday in the city to help with patrols during the holiday weekend. And the head of the state police announced Thursday that a total of 50 state troopers and other state public safety officers would be redeployed from this weekend through Labor Day to help city police.

The number of slayings in the city declined last year and appears on pace to shrink again this year. But violent crime continues to be a major problem in New Orleans. Landrieu earlier this week acknowledged the need to beef up a police force that has diminished over the years from around 1,600 to 1,200, adding that the City Council has approved money to hire 150 new officers.

After the shootings, police released surveillance camera videos showing the gunfire and resulting mayhem. Police said they had developed "persons of interest' thought to have knowledge of the case, but there was no sign of a break until Friday afternoon's announcement that Le was a suspect.

Police said Detective Bruce Brueggeman obtained an arrest warrant for Trung Le Friday morning. He was caught in Mississippi by members of the New Orleans police working with U.S. marshals. Police continued to seek any pictures or videos taken in or around the crime scene at the time of the incident.

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libsfault July 04 2014 at 10:53 PM

I get sick of this gun argument, Who had the alcohol during the prohibition....the criminals. Who has the illegal drugs....You know the ones that flood across our open borders...the criminals. So who do you think would have the guns if they confiscated everyone....the criminals.......So take your gun control arguments and shove them......

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7 replies
Dude July 04 2014 at 9:28 PM

Somehow I doubt Mr. Le was a member of the NRA, a republican, a conservative, a supporter of the 2nd Amendment (which advocates the LEGAL possession of firearms), or was a law-abiding citizen before being involved in this gun battle. It is illegal to carry a firearm into an alcohol-serving estblishment in New Orleans, so the only people carrying guns in the Bourbon Street district are cops and criminals.

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3 replies
mike July 04 2014 at 10:14 PM

send his ass back where he came from. the stupid look on his face tells me hes not for the usa. git him outta here

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6 replies
debnaert July 04 2014 at 10:02 PM

A swift trial and then shoot him.

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1 reply
Christopher debnaert July 05 2014 at 12:14 PM

...but not in that order!

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LewTag July 04 2014 at 10:12 PM

Back in the day Bourbon St. was one of my favorite hang outs while I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi MS....then it was fun to listen to all the bands in the bars...I never heard of any street violence at all...but that was 1952 and the world was different then...

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2 replies
sadiemae1214 LewTag July 04 2014 at 11:09 PM

I lived there in 1975 and it was still a great place.

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Hello Beautiful LewTag July 05 2014 at 10:04 AM

The USA has been hijacked. Sad state of affairs nowadays. I have some pretty decent memories of the Bay Area, CA back in the '70s (with the exception of Oakland).

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lv2213frs July 04 2014 at 10:18 PM

Bourbon Street is scary enough in the daytime. I can't imagine being out there in the middle of the night.

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msanbaker July 04 2014 at 10:19 PM

I wonder if he is legal. Seems like a gang thing, if so round up every member of the gang and hold them..

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2 replies
ranger197172 msanbaker July 05 2014 at 12:04 AM

And charge them under the rico act.

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jnaylor284 msanbaker July 05 2014 at 7:01 PM

Looks like MS13

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Patrick July 05 2014 at 10:50 AM

Trung T. Le was a hard working, law abiding, model citizen until the NRA put a gun in his hand and forced him to start shooting people. It's not his fault, because he had no choice in the matter.

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2 replies
welcome eric Patrick July 05 2014 at 10:45 PM

That's sounds atypical of the convoluted liberal mentality. No personal accountability or responsibility for the individual involves whatsoever, the gun is at fault, not the individual who used it criminally or irresponsibly.

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Scotty Patrick July 06 2014 at 7:11 AM

The most illiterate comment today. Bet you never got out of 3rd grade. The NRA had nothing to do with this scumbag.

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1 reply
thorrsman Scotty July 06 2014 at 7:58 AM

It was, you should know, sarcasm aimed at those who ALWAYS blame the NRA for shootings committed by criminals and lunatics.

Sarcasm probably should be noted as such, since in too many cases it comes across as a secular equivalent of Poe's Law.

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Fred July 04 2014 at 11:11 PM

Great, they caught the little yellow back cowards.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
supermolar July 04 2014 at 11:30 PM

is he an American citizen?

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