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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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NOPD arrests grandmother in toddler's death

January 20, 2016

NEW ORLEANS – The NOPD has arrested a 42-year-old New Orleans woman in connection with the fatal shooting of her 3-year-old grandson. The incident happened this morning (Jan. 20) in the 5600 block of Red Maple Drive.

Around 2:12 a.m., NOPD Seventh District officers responded to a call of a child shot at the location. Upon arrival, officers found a 3-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. EMS transported the child to a local hospital where he later died. The child’s grandmother, Deonca Kennedy (DOB: 4-14-73), was the only other individual inside of the home at the time of the incident.

The initial investigation at the scene led detectives to believe that Kennedy was asleep in bed with her grandson at the time of the shooting. Kennedy’s gun was underneath her pillow and detectives believe it discharged, striking the infant in the chest. 

Detectives transported Kennedy to NOPD Headquarters for questioning, however, Kennedy refused to give a statement or cooperate with detectives.    

Based on the facts of the investigation, NOPD Child Abuse Detective Tyra Pruitt obtained an arrest warrant for Negligent Homicide, Second Degree Cruelty to a Juvenile and Child Desertion for Deonca Kennedy that was signed by a Magistrate Judge. Detectives booked Kennedy on all three counts. The investigation is on-going.

Child Abuse Detective Tyra Pruitt is investigating the incident and can be contacted at 658-5267.     

Citizens with information that can help solve this crime are asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP.  You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for the information leading only to the arrest, except on homicides, where Crimestoppers will pay half of the reward upon the arrest and half on the indictment of the responsible person(s).  You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward but you must contact Crimestoppers directly with your information. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to Crimestoppers at

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Last updated: 3/21/2016 9:42:36 AM

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