New Orleans police: Arrests in drive-by shootings

August 14, 2014 - 4:06 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans police arrested two suspects Thursday in a drive-by shooting that left a man and a teenage girl dead and seriously injured a mother and her two small children.

Chief Ronal Serpas said Blair Taylor, 20, is suspected as the gunman. He was being held on two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder. Jeffery Rivers, 25, was booked with being a principal to the same charges.

Serpas said tips to police and to the Crimestoppers organization led to the arrests. Two stolen cars, including one believed used in the shooting, were seized and police have recovered a weapon linked by ballistics to the shootings.

The shootings occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. Police say 33-year-old Terrance McBride was the shooters' intended target. McBride and 16-year-old Jasmine Anderson were killed.

A 32-year-old woman and her two young sons were injured and remain hospitalized. Two other people had less serious injuries.

While Serpas said the shooting is believed to have been connected to the drug trade, he gave no specifics on the motive. He said at least one more arrest is possible.

Jail records show Taylor's bond was set at $15,000 bond after a 2013 arrest for illegally carrying a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance.

Serpas did not comment on the amount of bond but made clear he was unhappy that Taylor was on the street despite the gun charge and a prior arrest for aggravated battery.

"Taylor has an arrest record that reminds us over and over and over again, if you are a young man in the city of New Orleans and you are involved in drugs and guns, the chances of you receiving a consequence appear to be none," Serpas said, adding that Taylor had been arrested earlier for carrying a gun with an obliterated serial number.

Among those with Serpas at Thursday afternoon's news conference were District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, and representatives from Louisiana State Police. Troopers have been diverted from other nearby jurisdictions and from other duties in New Orleans to help the city police department with patrols. And, Serpas said, troopers arrested Taylor after a brief car chase.

The extra troopers have been evident in the French Quarter since a June 29 gunfight that broke out on Bourbon Street, leaving one bystander dead.