Sheriff: 3 dead in gun store shooting in New Orleans suburb

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, February 20, 2021

By Stacey Plaisance
Associated Press

METAIRIE, La. — A person went into a gun store and shooting range in a New Orleans suburb and fatally shot two people Saturday, causing customers and staff to open fire on the shooter, said a sheriff. The shooter also died.

The shooting happened at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in the suburb of Metairie around 2:50 p.m., according to a release from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said the shooter initially hit two people inside, and then several other people — whether employees or store customers — opened fire on the shooter, both inside and outside of the building. Outside the building a man could be seen behind the yellow police tape yelling “Where is my son?”

Guns and ammunition are sold in the front of the outlet that faces a main thoroughfare through Jefferson Parish. Customers who want to frequent the gun range generally go around to the side entrance of the building. Staff who work there often wear a sidearm.

Lopinto said two other people were also hit by gunfire and were hospitalized in stable condition. He said there were multiple shooters in all and investigators had just begun trying to piece together what had happened.

“We’re trying to put it all together, piece it together,” the sheriff said.

None of the dead or wounded were immediately identified and details remained sketchy. Lopinto said the investigation was continuing as authorities tried to determined the exact details of what happened.

Caution tape surrounded the business to keep onlookers from getting close to the scene, where ambulances and numerous law enforcement vehicles had converged. A neighboring Taco Bell had been evacuated.

Metairie is a major suburb of New Orleans, about five miles west of the city’s iconic French Quarter, in neighboring jurisdiction of Jefferson Parish.