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TikTok star Brandon “Boogie B” Montrell was shot and killed by a stray bullet Friday while Christmas shopping in New Orleans with his grandmother, his heartbroken mom revealed — as she railed against the leaders of the Democrat-run city.
Montrell’s mother confirmed Saturday that the 43-year-old social media personality and comedian was the man killed while sitting in a car parked in the Rouses grocery store in the Warehouse District around 4:07 p.m. the afternoon before.
The devastated mom blasted crime in Louisiana’s most populated city — and the leaders who need to “do their jobs.”
“My son was not just the victim of a stray bullet,” Sherilyn Price said in a Saturday statement obtained by Fox 8.
“He’s the victim of decades of neglect that have left New Orleans’ youth with no hope for a future and with no real fear of consequences,” the devastated mom continued.
“It’s past time for leaders in our city and all over to do their jobs. It matters who the president is, who the governor is, and who the mayor is. Leaders create opportunities – including the opportunity to live in peace without fear of random violence.”
The New Orleans Police Department has not officially released the victim’s identity but confirmed he was not the intended target.
The victim was a bystander caught in the crossfire, the department said.
New Orleans Councilmember Oliver Thomas, a Democrat, echoed Price’s plea for action to make the city a safer place.
“Another one of our own was taken senselessly. We continue to ask when will it end while seeking solutions for change. Mourning has become a way of life here, but have we truly become numb to violence and destruction?” he said on Instagram.
New Orleans, known for its nightlife and live music scene, had the highest homicide rate of any major US city for the first half of this year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
The city tallied about 41 homicides per 100,000 residents.
The city’s Democratic mayor, Latoya Cantrell, is facing a recall effort over surging crime. Petitioners have until February 22, 2023, to collect 53,343 valid signatures in order to put the recall election on the ballot.
It was unclear Saturday how many people have signed the bid.
Montrell was popular on TikTok and other social media platforms for his humorous “Hood History” series in which he shared sharp-witted stories about the city’s lesser-known but colorful past — much of which focused on black American tales.
He had more than 226,000 followers on TikTok and more than 109,000 followers on Instagram.
Montrell posted a “Hood History” video on Fred C. Parker, New Orleans’ “Black Santa,” just hours before he was killed.
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The comedian was born in New Orleans but had been living in Los Angeles to advance his entertainment career, a cousin told Fox 8.
Montrell had returned to Louisiana to spend the holiday with his mother and grandmother.
He was waiting for his grandmother to collect Christmas groceries inside the store when he was killed, his family’s attorney said.
He had reportedly been planning to attend a friend’s comedy show at a nearby hotel later that night.
“He was a really good guy,” family attorney and friend Juan LaFonta said. “Always pushing himself forward. Never involved with anything negative.”
Fans and friends are already grieving the funnyman’s loss.
“You will be thoroughly missed my beloved brother. Thank you for the great memories. I was looking forward to us going on road and watching our dreams come true,” Ron G., a fellow comedian, commented on Montrell’s last post.
“From one historian to another; you exist beyond your existence in the legacy you have left behind, in the lessons you have left, and the thousands of lives you have touched,” fan and New Orleans resident Rubia Garcia said.
The two suspects believed to have killed Montrell in the shootout are still on the lam. Police shared surveillance images of two people they believe are involved.
Police have named Dyamonique Smith as a person of interest and believe she has vital information to the investigation, though she is not wanted on criminal charges, WDSU 6 reported.