An alleged robber was shot dead by a taxi driver in New Orleans who was forced to use a personal firearm in self-defense when the alleged robber drew a firearm and demanded money but received a hail of lead and multiple gunshot wounds in return.
Apparently, the incident occurred at about 1 am in the morning. It was then that the alleged robber approached the taxi driver with a brandished firearm and demanded money. The unidentified cab driver then opened fire and shot the alleged robber multiple times.
When authorities arrived at the location of the incident to investigate and render first aid, the alleged robber was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Tim Genevay, a spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office.
The alleged robber killed during the incident was later identified as 23-year-old Gerald Pope. The spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Capt. Jason Rivarde, said that the incident was classified as a justifiable homicide so the taxi driver would not be facing any criminal consequences or charges over the incident.
Speaking about the incident, Mr. Rivarde said, “The driver was presented with a threat to his life.” Continuing, he added that the investigators for the department suspect that Pope had already robbed two different drivers from the same cab company, with the robberies occurring within the last week, before this armed taxi driver ended the crime spree.
Evidence for that allegedly comes from the determination that Pope matched the description of the suspect in a similar hold up that occurred the day before at 3 pm. Further, he also matched the description of a shooting that occurred the previous week. No other details were provided about the two other robberies, other than that Pope matched the description and that the cab company involved was the same one.
The Sheriff’s Office delayed reporting that the shooting occurred and when asked why it delayed reporting the shooting, Rivarde said, “The sanctity of the criminal investigations comes before anything. In an investigation like this, ensuring that information about the shooting was not publicly available was very important.”
Fortunately for the taxi cab driver, Louisiana has a relatively permissive Stand Your Ground law. That law removes the duty to retreat from any place a person has a right to be before using force in self-defense. Further, the law specifically prohibits considering the possibility of retreat as a factor when determining the reasonableness or necessity of force.
Though there is no duty to retreat, there are other requirements. Under the LA statutes, to justifiably use self-defense by law, four elements must be proven: 1. The attack must be unprovoked; 2. There must be an imminent injury or death; 3. There must be a reasonable degree of force used against you or a loved one; and 4. There must be a reasonable fear of injury.
Featured image credit: Gerald Pope mugshot from the New Orleans Police Department
"*" indicates required fields