In the sixth New Orleans murder in 24 hours, a woman was killed and her physician husband shot in their home yesterday, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Police have not identified most of the other recent murder victims and appear to have few leads in any of the cases. The wave of bloodshed–severe even by New Orleans standards–came three days after Police Superintendent Warren Riley tried to put a positive spin on the 2006 murder total of 161, which he called the lowest in 30 years. On a per-capita basis, however, even the most optimistic projection of the post-Katrina city’s drastically shrunken population makes that figure an increase from previous years.
Some of the recent murder victims “had heroin in their hand and crack in their pocket,” said New Orleans Deputy Chief Steven Nicholas. Pharmacist Gwendolyn Charles talked about the shot doctor’s devotion to indigent patients. Charles is appalled at the surge in violence and attributes it partly to people “who are coming home to the city with nothing for them to come home to.” The violence won’t stop until everyone sees themselves and others as part of a larger community, she said.