Man charged with killing security officer at basketball game

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans man has been charged with killing an off-duty university police officer outside a high school basketball game where he’d shown up without a mask.

John Shallerhorn, 35, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Martinus Mitchum, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office said in a news release emailed late Thursday.

Shallerhorn threw down his gun and surrendered immediately after the shooting outside the George Washington Carver High School gymnasium, police have said.

The indictment also charged Shallerhorn with armed robbery using a firearm. Police have said jewelry taken during a holdup nearby was found on him.

Martinus, a Tulane University police officer and a reserve officer for a city court, was working as security during the evening basketball game, police have said.

Shallerhorn had struck a school ticket-taker in the face after being told he couldn’t enter, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said March 1.

Police reports state that he was being turned away because he wasn’t wearing a face mask, Thursday’s news release said. News agencies reported that, earlier Feb. 26, police were called to get him out of a casino because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

Attorneys Mariah Holder of the parish public defender’s office and William Boggs of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center were building an insanity defense during a March 20 hearing, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported.

Boggs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.