POLICE in New Orleans investigating the shooting of Limerick garda Brian Hanrahan in the city last week have released photofits of two alleged suspects they are keen to interview.
The off-duty garda, 30, was shot in the lower back and leg in the course of an attempted mugging in New Orleans on January 27, at around 5am, and is now recovering after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his lower spine.
A number of his relatives from Limerick, including his wife Emma and mother Rose, have travelled to New Orleans to be with him as he recovers.
According to the police description, the gunman was a African-American male, aged in his late 30s or early 40s. The other suspect is also described as a African-American male, aged in his 30s, about 5 feet 8 inches in height.
The New Orleans Police department has offered a reward of up to $2,500 (€2215.33) for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the shooting.
Meanwhile, donations to help his family with bills for medical expenses and flights continue to pour in.
An Irish bar in New Orleans hosted a fundraiser on Saturday for Brian, and gardai in Henry Street station in the city will host a coffee morning this Wednesday in aid of their injured colleague. To date, thousands of dollars have been raised on both sides of the Atlantic in a massive outpouring of support for him.
Last week the State and Port Authority police in New Jersey also collected $2,000 which they presented to Emma and her mother-in-law when they arrived in Newark Airport en route to New Orleans. The Garda Representative Association is has also been assisting his family with their expenses. High profile figures in New Orleans’ Irish community have voiced their outrage at the attack, including Judge James McKay, who visited Garda Hanrahan in hospital, said local people were “embarrassed, shocked, mortified” by what had happened.
He added that if the perpetrators were caught, they would be prosecuted “to the full extent of the law”.
However, he said that Garda Hanrahan was recovering well from his ordeal.
“He is sitting up...his colour is good and his speech is great and his spirits are up, especially when he saw his wife and his mum coming in,” said Mr McKay.
New Orleans police are still seeking two men in connection with the shooting.