According to New Orleans police, carjackings have noticeably declined in the Crescent City over the past couple of years; down by almost 50 percent compared to 2022, when there was almost a carjacking reported every day. Some of those crimes received national attention at the time because of the shocking nature of the incidents, like the carjacking of 73-year-old Linda Frickey, who was killed when four teenagers ended up dragging her behind her vehicle after they forced her out of her car and drove away with her arm still tangled in the driver’s seatbelt. Three of the four ended up taking plea deals for attempted manslaughter last November, while John Honore, who was 17 at the time of the carjacking, was found guilty of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years to life just a couple of weeks ago.
The crime wave even caused producers of the show “Queer Eye” to cut their New Orleans-based season short after two separate carjacking attempts against members of the production team in a five-day span. Things may have improved since then, but there were still about three carjackings per week reported in the city last year, so while the numbers might be trending in the right direction there’s still plenty of reason for drivers to be aware of the threat.
Thankfully, it sounds like one motorist was prepared to protect himself early Friday morning on the city’s east side when a stranger approached with the intent of robbing him of his vehicle.
The victim, an adult male, was reportedly targeted by 23-year-old Johnathan Edwards in the 7300 block of Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26.
Police say Edwards pulled on the door handle and told the victim to get out.
The victim fired shots at Edwards, striking him multiple times, the NOPD said.
We don’t have a lot of information about this particular defensive gun use other than the fact that Edwards (no relation, by the way) survived his encounter with the armed citizen, who’s not expected to face any charges for acting in self-defense. Edwards, on the other hand, is looking at one count of attempted first-degree robbery when he’s released from the hospital.
Police haven’t said if Edwards was armed when he tried to abscond with the gun owner’s vehicle, but even if he didn’t have a gun of his own his actions still posed a threat to the driver’s life. The four teens who killed Linda Frickey didn’t use a gun or a knife, after all, but her own vehicle, and the driver who defended himself today could just as easily been dragged behind or run over as the carjacker tried to make a quick getaway.
Simply possessing a gun doesn’t mean that you’ll be in a position to use it in self-defense, of course, but there’s a zero percent chance of defending yourself with a firearm if you’re not carrying one. New Orleans has never been a particularly low-crime city, and even with the declines in carjackings, armed robberies, and homicides last year there were still far too many acts of violence committed against good folks just trying to go about their daily routine. Hopefully, the Louisiana legislature will quickly approve a permitless carry bill that will enable lawful gun owners to more easily exercise their right to bear arms in self-defense and we’ll see more defensive gun uses like this in the future… which in turn could help to continue the decrease in carjackings reported in 2023.