The day after 20-year-old Wendell Allen was killed by police in his mother's Gentilly home during a drug raid last week, New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas told reporters Allen was unarmed when an officer shot and killed him. NOPD confirmed Officer Josh Colclough fired his gun once, fatally wounding Allen, a high school student who was one of three adults in the house. Citing an ongoing investigation, Serpas declined to say what, if anything, prompted the officer's fire. "We still have many questions to answer," he said.
For example: "If he didn't have a gun, what was the purpose of shooting him?" said Chrystal Butler, who identified herself as Allen's aunt. Butler, along with several other people who identified themselves as Allen's relatives, stood outside NOPD headquarters during the March 8 press conference, holding signs reading. "The police killed our loved one."
At a meeting in his office earlier that day, Mayor Mitch Landrieu promised the investigation into the shooting would be thorough and fair. "The full investigation is ongoing now, and my commitment to the parents and to the people of New Orleans: There will be a full and open investigation. It will be transparent," Landrieu said, adding he met with members of Allen's family, including his mother, that morning. "She was upset. She lost her baby boy," he said. "Neither she nor I really knows the facts and circumstances."
As Landrieu spoke, protesters marched outside City Hall, calling for Serpas' firing following the second fatal officer-involved shooting in eight days. An early morning traffic stop in Mid-City on March 1 led to a gunfight between police and Justin Sipp, leaving Sipp dead, two officers seriously injured and Sipp's brother, Earl Sipp, shot in the leg. Police said Justin Sipp began shooting first. — Charles Maldonado