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Eight murders begin new year

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007

Updated: Sunday, December 14, 2008 01:12


Michael Nissman

Gill Benedek, from the Neighborhood Planning Network, an outreach program, takes notes during Wednesday's round-table discussion in the Senior Commons Room in the Danna Center.

As the City of New Orleans capped off the murder count at 162 for the 2006 calendar year, the New Orleans Police Department recorded the first murder of 2007 on New Year's Day.

The offense occurred around 7:45 p.m. in the 2300 block of Fourth Street, according to the NOPD.

When officers arrived on the scene they found the victim, an unidentified black male, lying on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body. Emergency medical technicians pronounced the victim dead on the scene.

As of Wednesday, police had recorded eight murders in the city since Jan. 1.

Jan. 3 saw three murders within four hours of each other.

Police said the first incident happened at about 3:30 p.m., the second at about 3:45 p.m. with the third happening at about 7 p.m.

All three incidents were fatalities that occurred from gunshots. The victims - all males - were pronounced dead on the scene.

The third victim, 19-year-old Randall Thomas of New Orleans, was walking down LaSalle Street toward Second Street when an unknown gunman approached him from behind, police said.

Following the Jan. 3 murders, police responded to two murders on Jan. 4.

Police responded to the first report of the day with a call of shots fired at about 12:30 a.m. Officers found the victim, a black male, in an alley way at 2119 Josephine St. suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. EMT pronounced the victim dead on the scene.

Investigators found a handgun near the victim, according to the NOPD. A search by K-9 and SWAT officers did not turn up a suspect.

The day's second murder occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m. at 2444 N. Rampart St. in the Marigny, police said.

The victim was a 36-year-old white woman whom police identified as Helen Hill, a local filmmaker and animator. Hill was pronounced dead on the scene.

Her husband, family doctor Paul Gailiunas, and their 2-year-old were transported to Elmwood/Charity Trauma Center. Gailiunas underwent surgey for minor injuries, police said. The toddler was not injured.

One murder followed the wave of five in two days. On Jan. 5, police responded to a call of residential burglary at about 7:20 a.m.

While on the way to the home at 7437 Pitt St., officers were notified of a possible female down. At the scene they found the victim, a black female, lying on a bed with a gunshot wound to the head. Paramedics pronounced her dead on the scene.

After three days of a quiet murder front, police responded to the most recent report.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 8, police responded to a call of shots fired at 2530 Dublin St.

The victim, a 40-year-old black male, was discovered lying on the floor of the house with multiple gunshots to the head and torso, police said.

EMT pronounced him dead on the scene.

Daniel Monteverde can be reached at

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