A police officer working security for a high school basketball game was shot and killed Friday night, reportedly in a dispute with a civilian over wearing a mask at the event, New Orleans Police announced.
New Orleans Police officers responded to a report of an officer in danger at George Washington Carver High School on Higgins Blvd. around 6:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26.
Martinus Mitchum, a Tulane University Police officer and reserve constable for the New Orleans 2nd City Court, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest. Mitchum, 38, was hospitalized, where he was pronounced dead. Mitchum had been working security at the game.
Police said the shooting suspect, identified as John Shallerhorn, entered the high school to attend a basketball game, and got into an altercation with a school staff member.
Shallerhorn reportedly was not wearing a mask and refused to put one on. Mitchum tried to escort the suspect out of the building, police said, at which point Shallerhorn allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Mitchum.
Police said Shallerhorn, 35, was immediately caught and arrested. He was charged with first-degree murder of a police officer and armed robbery.
The school locked down immediately and the game was canceled.
NOLA.com reports Shallerhorn had allegedly struck the male school staffer in the face when Mitchum stepped in. After they stepped outside, Shallerhorn pulled out the gun and shot Mitchum twice, police said. NOLA reports police said Shallerhorn placed his gun down immediately after shooting Mitchum and surrendered to Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies who were also at the school.
Police said Shallerhorn robbed a man of his medallion and chain at gunpoint in the high school parking lot just before the incident, NOLA reports.