French Quarter shooter was facing cyberstalking, domestic violence charges

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Jessica Goff, AP

A Crowley man who shot himself to death Sunday at a New Orleans hotel had been arrested in Lafayette and accused of cyber-stalking a former girlfriend and of hitting her during an argument.

New Orleans police identified him as Bajkanwar Aulakh, 20, whose trial for one count of cyber-stalking was scheduled to begin Monday at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse. Just before 10 a.m. Sunday, Aulakh was pronounced dead on the 17th floor of Westin Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter from what witnesses said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Witnesses said he shot one of three friends before turning the gun on himself.

The four men were all from the Lafayette area, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Frank Robertson III said in a news release.

Three of the men, including Aulakh, came in from partying in the Quarter, waking the fourth about 5 a.m., Robertson said.

He said the man returned to sleep only to be awakened by the plea, “Put the gun down.” The 20-year-old, looking “dazed and confused under the influence of some unknown substance,” was pointing a gun at their 24-year-old friend, Robertson said.

The older man kept asking his friend to put the gun down, Robertson said, but about 6:30 a.m., the 20-year-old man shot him in the chest. The other two ran for help, hearing a second shot as they fled.

When hotel staff let police into the room, the 20-year-old pointed a gun at them, Robertson said.

The officers backed out and called a SWAT team.

After about three hours of negotiations, the 20-year-old man apparently shot himself and the SWAT team stormed in. He was pronounced dead about 9:55 a.m.

Rescue workers rushed the 24-year-old to a hospital, where he was in stable condition Sunday evening, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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