Covering Louisiana

Jul 7, 2014 9:13 PM by Associated Press

Bourbon Street suspect fights extradition

A 20-year-old man in the Harrison County jail has refused to sign extradition papers involving charges from a deadly gunfight on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Trung Tran "Joe" Le, of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, is accused of firing the first shot in a June 29 gunfight that killed a bystander and wounded nine others.

Harrison County Sheriff's Maj. Ron Pullen tells The Sun Herald that Le was presented Monday with extradition paperwork at an initial court appearance but declined to sign it.

"He refused to sign," Pullen said. "We've contacted New Orleans and told them they will need to start the request for a governor's warrant."

A governor's warrant overrides an inmate's refusal to go to another jurisdiction to face criminal charges.

Police said Le is believed to have fired the first shot in an exchange of gunfire in the French Quarter and is wanted by New Orleans Police on a charge of first-degree murder and nine counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He is being held without bond at the Harrison County jail.

The Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force in New Orleans received information that Le was at a home in Harrison County, said Randy Brouillette, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service in Gulfport.

"They went up to the house and he was out front, and they immediately recognized him and arrested him without incident," Brouillette said.

Police Chief Ronal Serpas said police are still working to identify another person involved in the gunfight. Stressing that police know who Le's associates are, Serpas issued a warning that anyone with knowledge of the crime should come forward or face possible prosecution.

Most of those hit in the shooting spree were visitors to the city, including Brittany Thomas, 21, of Hammond, Louisiana. Others were from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Australia.

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