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The friend of an off-duty New Orleans police detective killed last weekend in a brazen robbery outside a popular Houston restaurant that left another person injured said they were in the city for only a few hours before he was gunned down.
Detective Everett Briscoe, a 13-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, was visiting Houston on Saturday with members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, a New Orleans group that puts on a Mardi Gras parade.
Club President Elroy James told Fox News he, Briscoe and other members were visiting friends from the club who lived in Houston. Some had moved to the city following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he said.
New Orleans police Deective Everett Briscoe was killed Saturday during a robbery while visiting Houston, authorities said.
(New Orleans Police Department)
“We got there around 2:30 p.m. and put our belongings in the hotel and went across the street to a restaurant,” James said.
They dropped off their bags at the Hotel Derek near The Galleria mall and walked to the Grotto Ristorante to smoke cigars, James said. The group was seated on the outdoor patio and ordered a few drinks.
At some point, James left to walk over to a CVS pharmacy to purchase some pain medication. Minutes later, two suspects approached the group around 5 p.m. and demanded their property, authorities said.
Witnesses said they complied and one of the suspects opened fire and struck two people, including Briscoe, police said.
James said he received a call from a fellow Zulu member informing him of the shooting.
“I got a call saying ‘You need to come back. They shot DJ. They shot DJ,’” James said.
Upon running back to the restaurant, he saw Briscoe shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the second victim was hospitalized.
James described the detective, a married father of two boys, as big in stature but quiet and gentle.
“You won’t find anyone that can say anything bad about brother Everett Briscoe,” he said. “You had to really make him talk. He was a really, really great guy.”
Briscoe had been a Zulu member for seven years, James said.
James said he went back to New Orleans the day after the shooting.
“There was no reason to stay and celebrate. People really wanted to get out of the city,” he said.
Everett was pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the Southern University at New Orleans when he was killed, New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said Sunday.
New Orleans police officers hold a casket with Det. Everett Briscoe’s body. Briscoe was killed this past weekend while visiting Houston with members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.
(New Orleans Police Department )
“We lost a good one,” an emotional Ferguson said.
Briscoe’s body was escorted by Houston police officers to New Orleans on Tuesday.
Authorities are searching for two suspects and a Nissan Altima with paper tags in connection with the deadly shooting. A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
While talking to reporters Tuesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner had a message for the killers.
“I just want to be very clear. We will find you,” he said. “We’re going to utilize every resource available to find you.”
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