NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A witness's statement and photo identification led to the arrest of a man accused in a playground shootout that wounded 17 people, court papers show.
Joseph "Moe" Allen, 32, faces 17 counts of attempted murder in the Nov. 22 gunfight at Bunny Friend Playground after a neighborhood parade. He's being held in lieu of $1.7 million bond on those charges, and without bond on a Texas warrant accusing him of violating probation.
Defense attorney Kevin Boshea did not immediately return a call and email Monday. Allen's mother, Deborah Allen, told NOLA.com ' The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/21p5wfj) Sunday night that her son was in Texas the night of the gunfight. Calls to her home on Monday got repeated busy signals.
Police are still trying to identify other people involved in the shooting. Allen's arrest was based on a witness who gave the "name and nickname of one of the many shooters ... in this mass shooting," and then identified Allen in a "six-pack photographic lineup" at the local police station, New Orleans police Detective Chad Cockerham said in a sworn statement.
Allen "was observed walking into Bunny Friend Playground and firing a semi-automatic handgun into the crowd," Cockerham said.
Cockerham described hearing a "barrage of gunfire erupt" at Bunny Friend Playground as police headed there to break up an "unauthorized party."
"They were met with chaos and panic of citizens running in numerous directions across the park as well as throughout the surrounding streets," he wrote, adding that "tires ... were spinning and screeching."
For Allen, the Texas warrant was issued Nov. 25, based on the New Orleans allegations, since travel outside of Texas would violate Allen's parole, said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Allen was paroled in January from an Orleans Parish jail where he was serving time for possessing heroin and stolen goods, Louisiana corrections spokeswoman Pam Laborde said in an email to The Associated Press. She said Texas officials agreed to his request to supervise him there until the sentence ended in 2019.
The judge who sentenced Allen to eight years on the heroin charge in February 2012 recommended him 15 months later for rehabilitation, education and work release programs, online court records show.
Records at the courthouse show an address for Allen in Houston as well as one in New Orleans.