It doesn’t get much more senseless than what happened on the approach to the Crescent City Connection Wednesday night.
Two people were shot inside of their car. One was 7 months old.
In the newsroom, we were putting the finishing touches on the 10 p.m. newscast. Around 9:15, our assignment manager alerted us to police working a homicide on the CCC.
A news photographer and I had just driven through the area 10 minutes earlier.
“That’s all we know,” she said.
That was enough to move a live truck and reporter to the scene and the story to the top of the newscast.
Police later confirmed a man had been shot to death and an infant was in critical condition. Shortly after, we learned the 7-month-old died at the hospital.
Police later said what many were thinking: the victim, 25-year-old Deshawn Butler, probably knew the shooter.
Because of something that happened between the shooter and Butler, a baby is dead. Deshawn Kinard will never celebrate his first birthday. Another child caught in the crossfire. Another case of guns being used as problem solvers in the most brazen of ways.
How many times have we seen this?
“I’ve been crossing under yellow tape for decades, and it’s difficult and disturbing every single time. But it was heartbreaking to see what was clearly a bullet hole in the side of a baby’s car seat,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “No family should have to endure the murder of a 7-month-old baby.”
We led the newscast with live video from the scene. Reporter Gina Swanson arrived shortly after and provided an update. We ended the newscast with a recap of it all.
“We need people who know something about this to call us,” Serpas said. “Simply put: it’s the decent thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.”
Some newscasts stick with me much longer than others. Last night’s was one of them.