Drug Raid Suspect Killed By Police Was Unarmed

ShootingsDrug TraffickingHealthFBIKaren Allen

The man shot and killed Wednesday night by New Orleans Police during a drug raid in Gentilly was not armed.

That's the word from Chief Ronal Serpas. Thursday Serpas released new details from the ongoing police investigation.

"We're not understanding why," the victim's aunt Crystal Butler said.

Frustrated by the lack of information about Wednesday night's drug raid that left 20-year old Wendell Allen dead, Loved ones gathered outside NOPD Headquarters, demanding answers.

"They haven't told us anything, nothing," Butler exclaimed.

While inside Police Chief Ronal Serpas gave members of the media an update on the preliminary facts of the case.

"An autopsy today indicates Allen died from one gunshot wound," Serpas said. "20-year Wendall Allen was fatally wounded on the second floor stair casing."

The home in the 26-hundred block of Prentiss Street had been under surveillance for suspected drug activity.

Officers armed with a search warrant stormed in around 5 o'clock Wednesday night.

That's when family members say Allen was startled by the commotion downstairs, and went to check things out.

"He jumped up out his bed with only jogging shorts on and slippers," Butler said. "No shirt on or anything."

"We do not believe at this time that Allen had a weapon at the top of the stairs last night," Serpas said.

"As he's trying to come down the stairs they shot him in his chest," Butler said.

"No shirt on, no gun. You didn't have to shoot," Wendall's second aunt Karen Allen said.

Investigators say marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a gun were eventually recovered from the home.

But none of it -- family members say -- justifies the shooting.

"No it was not justified," Butler said.

Just last week, two New Orleans Police Officers were critically injured in a shootout on the side of the road

But Allen's loved ones say he was not armed, and he did nothing to provoke officers.

"As an NOPD officer you have to know and you have to go in every situation differently," Allen said.

"I told Wendell's mother nothing we can do will bring him back," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Mayor Landrieu met with the victim's family earlier.

"I committed to them and I commit to the people of the city of new Orleans there's going to be a full investigation into this matter," Landrieu said.

The chief echoed the same sentiments.

"We have not yet completely been able to understand exactly what occurred and as we do know and find out we'll be reporting that information," Serpas said.

FBI agents assigned to the police internal affairs unit are part of the ongoing investigation.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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