POSTED: Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 1:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 1:49pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDSU) — Police in the Crescent City's Gentilly neighborhood are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting.
Officers said the shooting happened about 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 in the 2600 block of Prentiss Avenue.
Officials said Wendell Allen, 20, was shot in the chest. Allen later died of his injuries.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas said officers were serving a search warrant at a home, and a shot was fired during the incident.
Serpas said law enforcement has been doing surveillance on the home where the shooting happened over the past few days, and officers saw multiple drug transactions there.
"An arrest was made from one of the persons who left this house in Jefferson Parish and booked with intent to distribute narcotics. As a result of those actions, NOPD 3rd District Narcotics Task Force and Jefferson Parish deputies served a search warrant, signed by an Orleans Parish Judge on this particular house. While in the process of serving that search warrant, one gunshot was fired," said Serpas.
Investigators said no officers were injured in the shooting.
Family members said the shooting happened at Allen's mother's home that was full of young children.
"The sisters and brothers got to see their brother get killed like that -- like a dog," said the victim's grandmother, Deborah Allen.
The entire family was overwhelmed with grief, saying that police held them back as investigators pieced together what happened.
"They are cowards. I want the man (Serpas) to come and tell me that it was justified. I want the chief to come and tell me how it was justified for them to go in somebody's house with all those children in there and start shooting. They could have killed one of the babies," Allen said.
Serpas said the homicide unit and the Public Integrity Bureau are investigating the incident along with the independent police monitor.