New Orleans Shooting Impacts Crime Fighting Gulfport Preacher - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/28/03

New Orleans Shooting Impacts Crime Fighting Gulfport Preacher

A determined preacher helped make his Gulfport neighborhood a safer place to live.

Olivet subdivision in Orange Grove was plagued by drug deals, drive by shootings and break ins. But Nathaniel Jeanpierre led a campaign to get the neighbors involved and force thugs off the streets. His neighborhood is safer now, but a tragic shooting in New Orleans has left this crime-fighting preacher in need of some help.

"He said when he drove there he didn't see nobody out. And he backed up in the driveway, the guy just came up from nowhere," said Nathaniel Jeanpierre, as he tried to make some sense of the senseless.

His son and daughter-in-law made a tragic turn down a wrong street in New Orleans. They were simply trying to turn around, when a young gunman jumped through their open car window.

"My son grabbed the gun, trying to wrestle, grabbed his hand and tried to wrestle. The gun went off and shot him in the mouth. The first round got him in the mouth. Then the guy got out of the car, and my son got out," he explained.

The ensuing struggle ended with his son shot four times and his daughter in law suffering one fatal gunshot.

"The guy shot my son again in the back of the neck, then he shot him again on the right side. And my daughter in law was looking over when he was shot, I guess she was stunned, so he shot her. I think it was the left eye it went through."

Thirty nine year old Theresa Jeanpierre lost her life. Her husband, Nathaniel Junior, survived four shots to the head and neck.

The tragic shooting in New Orleans is sadly ironic for Rev. Jeanpierre. That's because he was largely responsible for organizing an ongoing campaign to eliminate crime and drugs in Olivet subdivision.

"People was afraid to come out of their houses. And I told them, you don't have to be afraid to come our of your house. We're going to get rid of these people. I approached the drug dealers and they asked me if I was crazy. And I said, yes, I am," Jeanpierre said.

He is appreciated by his neighbors and the Gulfport police department for his crime fighting dedication. The tragic shooting in New Orleans makes him even more determined.

"I want to work more with the police department and the community and to identify these problems in our community," he said.

Rev. Nathaniel Jeanpierre needs help paying for his daughter in law's funeral expenses. The family has opened an account at Whitney Bank in the name of Theresa Jeanpierre. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation at any branch of Whitney Bank.

By the way, New Orleans police arrested the man believed responsible for the shooting. The nineteen year old faces a variety of charges, including first degree murder, robbery and aggravated assault.

By Steve Phillips

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