Evidence doesn't support self-defense claim by suspect in 7th Ward quadruple shooting, NOPD says

Share on

The man accused of shooting four people outside a 7th Ward nightclub early Sunday said he opened fire because he feared

The man accused of shooting four people outside a 7th Ward nightclub early Sunday said he opened fire because he feared that one of the victims was reaching into a car for a gun with which to shoot him, according to New Orleans police.

But investigators said there was no evidence to support the notion that Lionel Cheneau acted in self-defense, so they jailed him on one count of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery, according to court records released Monday.

Cheneau made his initial court appearance Monday, and his bail was set at $295,000. He remained in custody Monday evening.

An arrest warrant affidavit sworn out by Detective Melvin Wiltz said police responded to a shooting outside the Hangover Bar in the 2100 block of North Claiborne Avenue about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Three women — a 25-year-old and two 27-year-olds — as well as a 45-year-old man had been wounded, and officers saw five spent bullet casings at the scene, Wiltz said.

Not long afterward, Cheneau waved down State Police troopers on patrol nearby at North Claiborne and Pauger Street. He told the troopers that someone had tried to kill him and that he had fired back before tossing his pistol away in the 1800 block of North Claiborne.

The troopers took him to a nearby New Orleans Police Department station.

Cheneau allegedly waived his right to remain silent and then explained that he had seen the man he shot stow a pistol earlier inside a white car parked outside the Hangover Bar, which doesn't allow weapons on its premises. Cheneau said he and a friend were using the bar's upstairs bathroom when that man came up to them and asked several times, "Y'all know me?"

Cheneau said an argument ensued, and he and his friend were followed out of the bathroom and around the bar by the man, who kept challenging them to "go outside" to the street.

Cheneau said he became afraid and told his friend to go to Cheneau's car to grab a gun, which Cheneau was then handed as he stepped out of the bar. Cheneau said he was walking to his car when the man with whom he had been arguing sprinted past him, opened the door of the white vehicle and leaned inside.

Though he admitted he never saw the man actually grab a gun, Cheneau said he was scared and fired his weapon, according to the affidavit. Bullets struck the 45-year-old man and the three women as they stepped out of the bar, police said.

The wounded man arrived at a local hospital in critical condition. The women were in stable condition, police said.

Cheneau said he then fled the bar and flagged down the state troopers, to whom he told a slightly different story, the court records alleged.

But Wiltz noted that the victim's vehicle had no bullet holes, casting doubt on Cheneau's claims that the victim was leaning into the car when he was shot. Cheneau's story also did not line up perfectly with that of his friend, whom Wiltz also interviewed.

Cheneau's friend said he went to Cheneau's car only to retrieve marijuana, according to Wiltz. The friend said he was walking back to give Cheneau his keys when Cheneau started firing a gun he already had on him, Wiltz said.

Cheneau's friend also denied ever seeing the wounded man wielding a gun.

Cheneau has no prior convictions, according to court records. A social media page bearing his name and picture described him as the father of two young children, although that account apparently was deactivated Monday afternoon.

Cheneau's assertions share some similarities with those made by Cardell Hayes, the man convicted of fatally shooting former Saints star Will Smith and wounding Smith's wife during a confrontation on a Lower Garden District street last year.

Although he claimed that he acted in self-defense and had reason to fear that Smith was reaching into his car for a gun, Hayes was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

evidence-doesnt-support-selfdefense-claim-by-suspect-in-7th-ward-quadruple-shooting-nopd-says photo 1

Man accused of shooting 4 people outside 7th Ward nightclub early Sunday arrested

An argument at a 7th Ward nightclub early Sunday resulted in four people being shot and one …

Share on
Article Evidence doesn't support self-defense claim by suspect in 7th Ward quadruple shooting, NOPD says compiled by Original article here