NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A father sobs in the arms of a loved one as he learns that his daughter was shot and killed while driving in her car.
“I’m going to play with her son, and her daughter, and my son’s daughter, and I get a call on the phone saying my daughter is dead,” said William Wilson.
Shortly before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, the New Orleans Police Department received calls about a shooting on I-10 near the Crowder Boulevard exit in New Orleans East. When police arrived, a woman was found shot dead in a car. The victim’s family identified her as 34-year-old Whitney Watts.
William Wilson, Watts’ father, says he was handcuffed and detained when he arrived on the scene.
“I was thrown on the car, handcuffed, head on the hood, put in the car for two hours after I explained the situation to them. You know, I wanted to see my daughter,” said Wilson.
Watts’ death comes as New Orleans is dealing with an alarming violent crime problem.
“The father’s out here walking the interstate where his daughter got killed. Man this is beyond too much,” said New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas, who represents District E in New Orleans East.
Thomas says he was on a tour with Councilman Joe Giarrusso when they saw the aftermath of the shooting.
“We see all of these police cars marshaling, and then we pass by and we see everything backed up on the interstate, and we see the windows of this car shot out. Once you cross the high rise, there’s a spot between the high rise and Crowder for the last several years where it seems like there’s always a shooting there,” said Thomas.
Thomas and the other council members are holding several meetings over the next few days to discuss the skyrocketing crime surge with hopes of making substantial change.
“There’s a thing called work. W-O-R-K. In the city right now, if you’re not working at 110%, you need not be working,” said Thomas.
We asked the NOPD to tell us why Wilson was handcuffed. The department says Wilson tried to enter an active crime scene, then swung at an officer. Police also say they found a gun in his car. Still, they only handcuffed him until he calmed down and the scene was processed.