Man accused of killing NOLA officer at basketball game had separate run-in with officers earlier that day
NEW ORLEANS - A man accused of killing a member of law enforcement during a basketball game in New Orleans was reportedly kicked out of Harrah's casino earlier that very same day, for refusing to wear a mask.
According to WWL-TV, new video obtained by the news outlet shows John Shallerhorn, the man accused of killing Martinus Mitchum, who was identified as a Second City Court Constable who also worked as a police officer at Tulane University, being kicked out of a casino the same day of Mitchum's murder.
The police bodycam video, obtained the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate is from early morning February 26, reveals Shallerhorn’s refusal to wear a mask and officers catching up with him near a group of slot machines.
“You’ve got to put a mask on,” one officer tells Shallerhorn on the video.
That officer tells Shallerhorn if he doesn’t wear a mask then he’ll have to leave.
“What happens if I don’t leave,” asked Shallerhorn.
“You’re going to jail,” said the officer.
At this point, Shallerhorn decides he’ll leave instead of putting on a mask, but he visibly upset by the entire situation.
As he walks away, he makes comments to an officer before turning back and yelling “Good night, baby.”
This results in a shuffle with officers who then put Shallerhorn in handcuffs. Once he's escorted outside Shallerhorn continues to vent his frustration about the mask requirement, saying, “When I go to Walmart don’t wear a mask. I went to Home Depot, don’t wear a mask. So, if I can go to these places and don’t wear a mask and I come here and I don’t, that’s discrimination.”
After the ordeal, Shallerhorn was issued a summons for trespassing and then released.
Later that night he would, according to police, shoot and kill officer Mitchum during a basketball game at George Washington Carver High School.
“This is a tragic, tragic loss,” said police chief Shaun Ferguson Monday during a news conference.
According to WWL-TV, Ferguson said Mitchum was working an off-duty security job at the game and tried to escort Shallerhorn out because of an altercation with a staff member.
“He then initiated a violent confrontation by striking the employee in the face,” said Ferguson.
While there are reports that confrontation was because Shallerhorn refused to wear a mask, police have not confirmed this information.
“This entry to the game, they were collecting tickets for the game, they were taking temperatures for the game, they were ensuring that everyone was complying with the COVID guidelines,” said Ferguson.
It’s those same guidelines Shallerhorn appeared to be at odds with while inside of a casino earlier that day.
WWL-TV reports that Shallerhorn is booked with first-degree murder of a police officer and armed robbery.
The news outlet adds that police say Shallerhorn also robbed someone in the parking lot on the same night as the deadly shooting at the basketball game.
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