A man grazed by a bullet in a shooting in the French Quarter; crime up 45%

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — The French Quarter management district is asking for a budget increase as crime rises.

Year-to-date, city data shows criminal incidents in the quarter are up 45% from last year.

A weary bartender in the French Quarter gave us the video below, of a fight that escalated to gunfire Tuesday morning, an occurrence she says is becoming too common.

Just before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, a fight reached boiling point and a gunshot exploded near the intersection of St. Louis and Bourbon.

The bartender who took the video says the man’s face was only grazed by the bullet and the NOPD could not find a victim. Officers found the suspect.

Keaton Johnson, 22, is now charged with a litany of drug and firearms charges, including felon possession of a firearm.

Keaton Johnson, 22, is charged with a litany of drug and firearms charges, including felon possession of a firearm.(Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office)

“It’s terrifying at times,” said Crossing bartender, Urban Cook Jr. “Luckily I have a husband who walks me to work, so that helps.”

“Twice now I’ve had to pulverize these people to get them away from me,” said Kim Rivero, owner of Darkmoor Tours. “I hate being out after dark here because I don’t feel safe anymore.”

Rivero says they’re targeting her and her tour groups, and Cook says it’s risky even going to morning shift.

“I’ve been working on this corner for about a little over 10 years now and it’s just gotten progressively worse,” Cook said. “We pay for security on the street, we pay for security at our doorstep and it’s like nothing really gets done.”

“It’s going badly,” Rivero said. “We need more police.

The French Quarter Management District told Council on Thursday that certified off-duty officers are needed because there are not enough NOPDs for additional patrols. They say the response time has slowed down to 24 minutes.

“The move to 12-hour shifts has had a big impact,” said FQMD Executive Director Karley Frankic. “We’re down to 35% of shifts being filled and those are the times when we need it the most, which is weekend evenings.”

The FQMD is asking the council for $700,000 for additional lighting, license plate readers and real-time crime cameras to make up for the lack of police numbers.

“To give people the confidence that they can go to work and go home safely,” Frankic said.

The budget increase request is now submitted to the full Council for a first reading.

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