Nurse with 'infectious smile' shot to death outside restaurant by man who grabbed security guard's gun and opened fire
Officers stationed nearby responded to the scene as soon as they heard gunshots and apprehended the suspect without further casualties
Police reported the death of a 36-year-old nurse and mother who was fatally shot on Bourbon Street in New Orleans by a man who was being escorted out of a restaurant when he allegedly got hold of a security guard's gun and opened fire. The Ochsner Health System has since released a statement mourning the loss of their favorite colleague, who had "an infectious smile".
The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office confirmed the death of 36-year-old Julie Couvillon of Metairie after she was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to a PEOPLE report.
In a report by The Advocate, Couvillon was shot while walking near Willie’s Chicken Shack on Bourbon Street after spending the day enjoying Carnival parades. She leaves behind a young daughter.
In a conversation with local CBS affiliate 4WWL, Couvillon's longtime friend, Angela Negoda, said, "It’s horrible. The situation should have never happened." According to Negoda, Couvillon "had an infectious smile" and was the "type of person where if you met her you were friends with her instantly."
According to a statement by the New Orleans Police Department, an armed security guard tried to remove 37-year-old Louis Barnes from the restaurant at approximately 3.10 am on Sunday. "As the security guard was escorting the suspect from the business, a struggle ensued," the police said. "During the struggle, the suspect managed to discharge the security [guard’s] firearm several times fatally wounding a 36-year-old female, striking the security guard in the neck and striking himself in the shoulder."
Officers stationed nearby responded to the scene as soon as they heard gunshots and apprehended the suspect without further casualties. Barnes was later charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. However, it is unclear if he has entered into a plea agreement or retained a lawyer who can speak for him.
Ochsner Medical Center issues a statement mourning nurse Julie Couvillon, who was killed in the shooting on Bourbon Street early this morning. pic.twitter.com/nSwzrDHjRP— Ramon Antonio Vargas (@RVargasAdvocate) February 24, 2019
Speaking to Nola, a representative from Willie’s Chicken Shack that the security guard who confronted Barnes was listed in critical condition on Sunday. However, he is now expected to make a full recovery.
The Ochsner Health System, where Couvillon was a registered nurse, released a statement mourning her loss. "We are terribly shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague, Julie Couvillon," the hospital said. "An employee for 13 years, Julie was a beloved nurse who dedicated her life to caring for others. This is a devastating loss to the nurses, employees, physicians, and staff across our system. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and the families of the other victims."
Anyone with information pertinent to the crime is requested to help investigators by dialing 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP(7867) to reach CRIMESTOPPERS.