Double homicide outside convenience store rocks Treme neighborhood, nearby businesses

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 12:52 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Business owners in Treme say they’re devastated to learn one of the victims of Sunday night’s double homicide was just 17 years old. They said the violence is taking a toll on their business.

Police said the double shooting happened in Treme around 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 19) near the Discount Zone.

The area where the shooting happened, near the intersection of Esplanade and S. Claiborne Avenues, is known to draw large crowds on the weekends.

One of the victims was a 17-year-old girl, and the other was a man, the NOPD said. Videos circulating on social media show witnesses attempting to perform CPR to save the victims.

“The videos that we saw are horrific. Being able to see a person walk up and shoot them. Seeing people help them, try to save their lives,” Arkesha Baquet said.

The Orleans Parish Coroner on Tuesday identified the victims as Ahmontae Wishom, 24, and Layla Scott, 17.

“We just need to stop and just love each other. Put the guns down. No more killing,” Troy Palmer said.

Palmer is a Lyft driver who says he is in the area all the time.

“I’m always firsthand dealing with people who may have a passion of crime,” said Palmer. “It shouldn’t happen. I’m very devastated and I hope something changes and I hope somebody comes forward.”

As a mother herself, Baquet said the incident made her sick to her stomach. Her heart is heavy, and her prayers go out to the victim’s families.

“This is a constant reoccurring situation in the city and it’s very sad and disheartening and it’s touching because I have a son that’s just 19. So, I definitely want to give my prayers and condolences to their families, and I hope we can get this under control ASAP,” said Arkesha Baquet. “We can’t afford to keep losing young people like this. It’s just unnecessary. I would hate to be in these people’s shoes, you know. Again, I have kids and I want nothing more than to see my kids graduate, get married, and go on to do great things. And I’m just sad that these kids were not able to do that.”

Baquet owns Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe.

“We’ve had nothing happen during business hours, but we’ve had several times where we’ve come back and there has been some type of shooting or some type of incident,” she said.

She said crime has been bad for business but she’s doing everything she can to keep customers coming back.

“It makes people concerned about coming to the restaurant and this area just knowing that you’re steps away to murders occurred, but we do the best that we can do with our surveillance and being mindful of our goings and comings,” Baquet said.

Investigators say they are gathering evidence and information to identify a suspect or suspects, as well as determine a motive. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crimestoppers.

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