‘I would never bring kids here again;’ New Orleans tourists rattled by shooting near Airbnb

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2022 at 11:25 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Planning a retirement trip around the country, Terence and Barbara Curren said they couldn’t leave New Orleans off the itinerary.

“We scheduled taking a riverboat from Memphis down to New Orleans,” said Terence Curren.

They met family in the area and rented an Airbnb in the Seventh Ward. Coming from Los Angeles, they knew to be aware of their surroundings.

“We’re kind of mentally prepared to just always be on alert,” said Barbara.

They thought they returned safely after a day of adventures until they were putting their 2- and 3-year-old grandkids to bed Sunday night (April 10).

“There had to be at least 20 shots,” they said.

The Currens called police, who they say quickly responded to a shooting in the 1600 block of N. Claiborne. A woman was injured, NOPD says.

“As soon as I kind of realized that I hit the ground. I told my daughter to hit the ground. He also said hit the ground,” they said. “I was just praying that no bullets came into houses. You know, I know we’re not under attack. But you always hear about people who are just sitting, you know, the kid gets killed sitting in the house or something.”

“I would never bring kids here again,” said the Currens.

The family is rattled, but OK.

Data collected by the Metropolitan Crime Commission shows shootings are up 8% over last year and a staggering 61% over 2020. The Vice Chair of the French Quarter Management District says these repeated shootings are a bad look.

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Since Friday, nearly 20 shootings rang out in New Orleans, including a rash of shootings in Algiers. Five people who were killed have been identified by the parish coroner.

“If we can’t work together to figure this out very quickly, everyone is going to be left with a very different impression and that’s not an impression that anyone wants,” said Christian Pendleton.

He says the French Quarter is somewhat in the midst of an experiment; one where the hospitality industry raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to put more officers on the street to supplement NOPD and help deter wrongdoers.

“It is a noticeable difference seeing these POST-certified officers, quite literally walking up and down the street, engaging 99% of the people with positive messages, and just waving their hand. ‘Hi, how are you? Welcome. Great to see you.’ But for those people that might not be up to the best of decisions, [it’s] kind of a reminder that they’re most likely not going to get away with it,” said Pendleton.

He says residents, tourists, and workers simply can’t afford to wait on the city to keep them safe anymore.

“You’ve seen Lakeview, Mid-City, Garden District, the French Quarter... they are all having to impose additional taxes on themselves to pay for these details so that if they need help, there was someone that is going to respond faster. NOPD is just completely strapped,” said Pendleton.

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