Authorities ID Bourbon Street shooting victim


NEW ORLEANS -- The 21-year-old who died after being shot on Bourbon Street over the weekend was a sunny, hardworking woman who kept in touch for years with the school where she got her high school equivalency diploma, an official said.

Brittany Thomas of Hammond died Wednesday at University Interim Hospital in New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Thursday.

"Everybody that knows Brittany knows she's such a sweet girl, so full of energy," Donika Garner, program director at Quad Area Community Action Agency, told the Hammond Star. "She was very studious. She was a hard worker, very bright. She was always helping her classmates."

She said Thomas, who got her GED in 2011, was a cheerleader for two years, before the program was phased out, and was in the Spanish and yearbook clubs.

"She didn't stay far from the school, so she came back and visited about once a month," Garner said.

Thomas was among 10 people hit by bullets when two gunmen opened fire on each other about 2:45 a.m. Sunday in the French Quarter.

Two remained hospitalized in stable condition Thursday, said Siona LaFrance, spokeswoman for LSU Interim Hospital, the regional trauma center.

Justin Odom, 20, of Marrero, identified by New Orleans police as a person of interest in the shooting, turned himself in Wednesday.

An attorney was with Odom when New Orleans police questioned him, said Officer Hilal Williams, a department spokeswoman.

"We are still investigating what his involvement may be. This is an on-going investigation and no further information can be given at this time," she said in an email.

Odom was booked into the Jefferson Parish jail on previous shoplifting and traffic charges but was released Thursday because of overcrowding, said Cpl. John Fortunato, a sheriff's spokesman.

Police said earlier they were looking for another man with whom Odom associates.

LaFrance said Wednesday an Australian woman had been released from the hospital. Victims not hospitalized are two New Orleans-area men, a teenage girl and a woman from Alabama, and a Florida man.

The Australian woman was identified by the West Australian as Amy Williams, 21, of Mount Hawthorn, a suburb of Perth.

She told the newspaper all or part of a bullet went in through her right cheek and out her top lip, knocking out most of her teeth, burning her gums and requiring 30 stitches in her tongue and a metal support for the roof of her mouth.

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