A gunman shoots his way into a radio station and goes undetected by New Orleans police. That’s what some employees at WBOK are saying happened Friday night in a series of events they describe as terrifying.
Friday around 9:30 p.m., WBOK board operator Kendall “Jazz” Williams says he heard a popping noise while working at the radio station. Next, he saw a gunman standing in his doorway.
Williams recalls, “He says I had to shoot the glass to get in, I’m running from somebody outside.”
Williams called 911 and police arrived within minutes. So too did the station’s general manager and Janae Pierre, the Director of Promotions and Community Outreach.
Pierre explains, “They told us later, after the crime lab had come that we could go back in and clean up.”
Pierre says police found no sign of the gunman. But about an hour later, after opening a closet door, and seeing bloody footprints inside, Pierre and the others realized they weren’t alone in the building.
“We just slammed the door and I yelled, he’s still here, he’s still here and we just ran, I don’t know how my legs worked that fast,” Pierre said.
The lone officer still on the scene rushed in and arrested the suspect. He’s identified as 33-year-old Rance Dunbar. Pierre says officers told them they couldn’t find a weapon or anything connecting Dunbar to the shooting of the glass front door. The station manager and Williams then decided to go searching themselves.
“They find the sweaty white shirt that the guy had on and a 45 caliber,” Pierre said.
The employees say crime scene technicians had to be called out to the station yet again to process the evidence they discovered. The items were found in the same utility closet where Dunbar was hiding out.
Williams says, “So now not only did we capture the suspect for ourselves, now we’ve had to find the evidence for ourselves.”
Williams and Pierre are angry over what they call shoddy police work. “The events of last night were very negligent and incompetent,” Williams said.
Still rattled by the experience, Williams and Pierre say the station is investing in new security to keep them and the rest of the employees, safe.
FOX 8 asked the NOPD about the allegations that officers missed finding Rance Dunbar during the first check of the building and that they missed evidence. Those allegations weren’t addressed in the response we received but we were told this investigation is still in the preliminary stages. The NOPD also says Dunbar is booked with criminal trespass and could face more charges.