A New Orleans teen out on bail for armed robbery was fatally shot while attempting to rob a woman at gunpoint.
Police say three women pulled over on Dreux Street because of a flat tire. They called a friend to help them change the tire and while he was under the car, another car pulled up and 17-year-old Jose Valerio jumped out.
Valerio pointed a gun at one of the women and demanded that she give him her money.
That’s when her friend, who was still under the car, got up, pulled his own gun and the two exchanged gunfire.
Valerio was hit multiple times but the unidentified friend was uninjured. The second person driving the car fled. Valerio died at the hospital later that night. No one else was hurt.
The friend has been identified as an off-duty campus police officer from the State University of New Orleans.
Police are calling the shooting “justifiable” and don’t intend to charge him with any crime.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro released a statement, saying the shooting was a tragedy because Valerio shouldn’t have been on the streets to begin with.
“Any homicide on the streets of New Orleans, whether or not it is justified, is a tragedy. What makes this a horrific tragedy is that it could have easily been prevented but for the systematic failure of one component of our criminal justice system. Jose Valerio was given a woefully inadequate $50,000 bond for two counts of armed robbery,” the statement said.
“[Valerio] continually violated the conditions of that bond by testing positive for narcotics for which there was no consequence. Finally, he committed a third robbery, but the court denied the motion to revoke his bond in the armed robbery case. When the report of the Valerio homicide is delivered to my office, we will review the case pursuant to our standard procedures. However, the real tragedy is that he should have never been out on the streets to be shot,” Cannizzaro said.