A former Internal Revenue Service accountant wounded 10 persons, including his estranged wife and father-in-law, in a wild hour-long shooting spree today, police said.
Following the initial shootings in his father-in-law's home, the accountant, Carlos Poree, 35, traveled downtown and gunned down three men walking in a French Quarter park and five persons at an investment office in the business district before being subdued by plainclothes police, authorities said.
Police spokesman Tony Bonagura said two vice squad plainclothesmen, driving nearby, heard the final shos of the spree, stopped their car, jumped out and were running toward the scene when Poree came walking around the corner, tucking his gun into his waistband.
"They drew down on him, shouted, 'Freeze!' and the decided to give up." Bonagura said. "Officers Bill Schultz and Stanford Barree handcuffed him, read him his rights, whereupon he said, slowly and deliberately, 'I don't want to say anything until I see my attorney.'"
Poree was taken to police headquarters and held pending a hearing.
Four of the 10 victims were in critical condition. Six victims underwent surgery, two were treated in the emergency room at Charity Hospital and two others were transferred to prive hospitals.
At least three of the victims were from out-of-state.
Police said the first two victims were Poree's wife, Diane, and father-in-law. Alvin J. Broussard, in a residential neighborhood about two miles from downtown.
Later, they said, the victims apparently were chosen at random from lunch hour crowds at a French Quarter plaza and the office of Merrill Lynch, pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., a major brokerage firm in the heart of the commercial district.
"He didn't say a word. It was just bang, bang!" said Joyce Saylan, a secretary at the firm who was heading for lunch with her young son when the gunman brushed past her on his way inside.
"They guy walked in the door, went down the hall and started shooting . . . Everybody thought it was a joke with a cap pistol because it was so quick. Then everybody started screaming," she said.
Three men - two account executives and a customer - were wounded inside the firm, and two men walking by were shot on the street outside, police said.
Three more men had been shot about half an hour earlier in Edison Park, a vestpocket park on Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter.
Witnesses said the gunman stopped his car in traffic, ran into the park, and shot point-blank at two men who were seated on benches.
He then ran back to the street, where he shot a third man, and fled on foot, leaving a package of .38-caliber shells on the car seat, police said.
Mrs. Broussard said Poree and her daughter had been having problems since he lost his $19,000-a-year job a an IRS accountant last year.
"He was very upset about losing his job, but he was a good son-in-law. They had been married 10 years. [Diane] cared for him and he cared for her."