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Louisiana police officer, 38, is shot dead at a high school basketball game


A Louisiana police officer was shot dead last week during a mask dispute at a high school basketball game.  

Authorities confirmed the death of Cpl Martinus Mitchum, 38, of the Tulane University Police Department in a Facebook post on Saturday.  

John Shallerhorn, 35, was identified by police as the suspect who fatally shot Mitchum at George Washington Carver High School in the 3000 block of Higgins Blvd on Friday.

Shots were fired near the gymnasium at the school, according to police superintendent Shaun Ferguson. 

Authorities identified the shooter as 35-year-old John Shallerhorn

Authorities confirmed the death of Cpl Martinus Mitchum of the Tulane University Police Department in a Facebook post on Saturday. John Shallerhorn, 35, was identified by police as the suspect

Investigators said Mitchum was fatally shot at George Washington Carver High School (police at the scene) in the 3000 block of Higgins Blvd on Friday

Investigators said Mitchum was fatally shot at George Washington Carver High School (police at the scene) in the 3000 block of Higgins Blvd on Friday

Investigators at the scene of the incident Friday evening

Investigators at the scene of the incident Friday evening 

The school was put on lockdown after the shooting, local news outlets reported, and the game was ultimately called off.

The New Orleans Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to the location after being notified of ‘an officer in danger’ around 6.15pm on Friday. 

When officers arrived to the scene, they found Mitchum suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. 

First responders transported him to University Medical Centre in New Orleans, where he later died from his injuries. 

The NOPD said an initial investigation revealed that Shallerhorn entered the high school for a basketball game when he got into an altercation with a staff member for not wearing a mask.  

Police said ‘the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire’ when Mitchum, who was serving as security for the event, tried to escort him out of the building.

Authorities said the suspect was ‘immediately apprehended and arrested’. 

He has since been charged with first-degree murder of a policeman and armed robbery.

Mitchum's (pictured) longtime friend, Jason Bertrand, remembered the officer as a 'hero'. 'He's a hero to me. Kind of like a guardian, until the end,' Bertrand said

Mitchum’s (pictured) longtime friend, Jason Bertrand, remembered the officer as a ‘hero’. ‘He’s a hero to me. Kind of like a guardian, until the end,’ Bertrand said

The Tulane University PD released a statement on Facebook that reads: 'We are deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic death of TUPD Corporal Martinus Mitchum... Mitchum was a dedicated police professional who had a heart of service for the Tulane community'

The Tulane University PD released a statement on Facebook that reads: ‘We are deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic death of TUPD Corporal Martinus Mitchum… Mitchum was a dedicated police professional who had a heart of service for the Tulane community’

The robbery charge stemmed from an incident that happened in the parking lot of the school, police said.  

Investigators said he robbed a man who was sitting in his car by brandishing the firearm used to shoot Mitchum. 

Authorities said the man gave Shallerhorn his medallion chain before the suspect headed toward the school. 

Ferguson said the officer was a deputy constable with the Second City Court and a Tulane University police officer. 

According to a statement from the high school, Mitchum was ‘a fixture at Carver sporting events and parades’. 

‘All spectators, families, and players are safe — a testament (to) the officer, outside security support, school staff, and systems in place.’

The school also said it would offer resources to anyone in the Carver community who needed support in the wake of the shooting. 

The Tulane University Police Department released a statement on Facebook that reads: ‘We are deeply saddened by the senseless and tragic death of TUPD Corporal Martinus Mitchum. Corporal Mitchum was a dedicated police professional who had a heart of service for the Tulane community.’

‘We have reached out to his family and are providing support to his fellow officers during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and with all the fellow officers with whom he served.’

Mitchum’s longtime friend, Jason Bertrand, remembered him as a ‘hero’. 

‘He’s a hero to me. Kind of like a guardian, until the end, kind of like a guardian,’ Bertrand told WJBF

Mitchum’s family told the station that he loved protecting and serving his community as an officer, adding that they are very proud of him. 



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