New Orleans Lyft driver shot and killed by passenger, NOPD says

New Orleans police says Lyft driver, Marvin Enrique Bardales Valle, was shot and killed by a passenger. (Source: WVUE)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 9:54 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Videos of 32-year-old Marvin Enrique Bardales Valle playing guitar and loving his family are all his loved ones must remember him by. The NOPD says Valle was shot and killed just after 2 a.m. on March 8 near an apartment complex on Morrison Road.

At the time, he was working for Lyft, and police say his passenger, 19-year-old Tarius Tully shot him. Tully was arrested on March 14 with the help of data investigators obtained through the ride-sharing app. He now faces a second-degree murder charge.

“It’s something so, so painful,” Valle’s cousin, Isaac Bardales Lopez, said. “We believe he was forced to drive at gun point to his location and that’s where he was shot and killed.”

Lopez says his cousin’s death has been hard to grasp for him, and what makes things more challenging is the cost to give Valle a proper burial more than 1,000 miles away in Honduras, his home country.

“The total cost is going to be $12,500. That will be for a small funeral for family that are living here and to send him over to Honduras will cost $7,900,” Lopez said.

Loved ones say Valle’s journey to the U.S. was in search of the American dream. He worked in construction during the day and worked Lyft for extra cash. He would frequently send money back to his mother in Honduras, but now she is heartbroken that her only son is one of the latest victims of New Orleans’s gun violence.

“Her wish right now is to see her dead son one last time,” Lopez said. “She always wanted him to come back home but not this way.”

According to the New Orleans City Council’s crime dashboard, as of March 23, 2023, so far this year, the city has seen 49 fatal shootings. Compared to last year, it’s the same amount -- 49 fatal shootings.

Dillard University criminologist Ashraf Esmail says without tangible evidence of progress, New Orleans could expect fatal shooting numbers that rival the 240 seen last year.

“We are not seeing a decrease. We just started the new year the way we started last year,” Esmail said. “We keep asking ourselves questions (like) more police? We want to be more staffed to get to scenes quicker. But the question always is why are we seeing more homicides? Why are people firing? How do we stop that is the question. You can’t really be optimistic right now because you’re not given any reason to be optimistic.”

Now, as family in New Orleans remember Valle for his love and humor, they urge others to cherish the time you have with one another.

“We need to show love. We need to show sincerity,” Lopez said. “We need to get together and show affection like it’s the last party you’re going to ever have because the day my cousin sat down here and we ate together, I didn’t know that was going to be the last time I was going to see him.”

Family members are raising money to cover the cost of transporting Valle’s remains to Honduras, and any remaining money will go to his mother. If you want to contribute, you can do so on their GoFundMe page.

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