Returning to the intersection of Frenchmen and North Villere streets, city officials and law enforcement announced the capture of second line shooting suspect Akein Scott as well as his brother, 24-year-old Shawn Scott, and four others.
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas confirmed Shawn Scott as the second shooting suspect. In 2007, Scott pleaded guilty in possession of cocaine and heroin and was sentenced to five years probation. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and was to serve an eight year sentence. He was out on parole until December 2015. Like his brother Akein, Scott was charged this morning with 20 counts of second degree attempted murder. (A person was trampled by the crowd following the shooting and has been identified among the victims, hence the 20 counts of attempted second degree murder.)
"Shawn has a lengthy record and has demonstrated his contempt for New Orleans," Serpas said.
Serpas also announced Justin Alexander, 19, Brandy George, 28, Bionca Hickerson, 22, and Nekia Youngblood, 32, allegedly helped hide Akein Scott. They all have been charged with accessory after the fact to attempted second degree murder and obstruction of justice for harboring a fugitive.
"Harboring known criminals is a serious offense," Landrieu said. "These individuals will pay a price. They will pay because the people of this city have said enough is enough and we will not tolerate it."
Around 10 p.m. Wednesday, NOPD and U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found Akein in the 7500 Block of Kingsport Boulevard in Little Woods.
Serpas said Shawn was arrested on probable cause related to the shooting and NOPD is working to "build a case around him." Serpas said he believes the brothers "worked in concert."
"We absolutely see some connectivity between the brothers and other crimes we’ll be able to talk about in the coming weeks," he said, adding that the brothers led a "criminal lifestyle by choice."
Serpas also said the brothers are likely involved with gang activity with the Frenchmen and Derbigny Boys, "which have unfortunately been here since many of us were young officers," he said. "It’s generational. ... Not far from here we know there are men who are a part of three, four generations of criminal behavior who choose to do that."
Landrieu and Serpas noted that the way NOPD and federal agencies pursue violent criminals — coupled with the success of Crimestoppers' anonymous tips — has changed "the rules of the game on the streets."
"The message to these gang members: You can’t scare nobody anymore. And you have no idea who calls us now," Serpas said. "When we say to you, 'We know about you more than you think,' it’s the truth."
NOPD 5th District Commander Christopher Goodly told Gambit that much of the credit for the investigation goes to detectives Rayell Johnson and Robert Hurst, as well as their supervisors Lt. Chris Hart and Sgt. Gary LaCabe. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said the criminal justice system can't be "complacent" as it has only 60 days to accept the charges against the suspects.
"We will be given police reports, we will evaluate evidence, and we will make the determination we believe is appropriate," he said. "Keep in mind, unless we are successful in convicting these individuals in these shootings, then they are released back in the streets again. Our job right now is to make sure we have the very best case possible, bring that case to court, obtain a conviction, and ask the judge to impose sentences which will keep these individuals off the streets for the rest of their lives. It is that important to the rest of the city."