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New Orleans Police Department- Public Information Office
An Update on the Investigation into the Police-Involved Shooting on Prentiss Avenue
(March 13, 2012)- Superintendent Ronal Serpas today provided an update for the community on the investigation of the police-involved shooting in the 2600-block of Prentiss Avenue on Wednesday, March 8, 2012. The shooting occurred during the serving of a narcotics search warrant at the house, which resulted in the death of 20-year-old Wendell Allen.
The criminal investigation, which started the night of the incident, includes the interviews of witnesses and the processing of forensic evidence recovered from the scene. This investigation is being conducted jointly by detectives from the Homicide Division and supervisors from the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB) and includes continual review and unfettered access by FBI agents assigned to PIB. There is active and ongoing communication with the Office of the District Attorney as well as the Independent Police Monitor. Much has already been accomplished involving statements from NOPD officers and civilians, including adults and children who were present at the time of the shooting.
As a part of the on-going criminal investigation, investigators have sought to obtain a voluntary statement from Officer Joshua Colclough, who fired his service weapon one time, fatally wounding Wendell Allen. Officer Colclough has retained counsel. Criminal investigators have contacted his attorney for several days to ask the officer to make a statement, but his attorney has not made Officer Colclough available to do so. As PIB protocol dictates, following the shooting, Officer Colclough was immediately reassigned to desk duty.
“It is critical that this Department and this community understand what happened that night on Prentiss Avenue. A complete and thorough criminal investigation is a vital part of that process of understanding, and we cannot take any action which could possibly put a criminal investigation in jeopardy,” said Superintendent Serpas.
“If the officer were forced to give a statement to police, that statement could not be used against him in a criminal case, if it became necessary to do so. We will continue to work to get a voluntary statement from Officer Colclough, but a thorough investigation will be completed with or without it.”