NEW ORLEANS — The surviving suspect in the New Orleans shooting that left five people dead at a Mother’s Day parade Saturday gave a series of interviews with local TV stations and reporters on Tuesday, but a news release posted on his site on Wednesday presented a different version of events.
In an interview with New Orleans CBS affiliate WAFB, 21-year-old Jaquin Thomas said he was simply “just trying to save his life.”
“I got told by God … it’s just life, take what you get, live,” Thomas said. “It was just a bunch of madness. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do nothing. I just was trying to save my life, for real.”
His version of events differed from the one heard by investigators. After the WAFB interview aired, CNN, NBC and NPR all reported that Thomas apparently told their reporters he was told by police that he was in fact the shooter.
A spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department told HuffPost on Tuesday evening that Thomas was arrested, but would not confirm if he said he was the shooter. When asked whether Thomas had been killed in the exchange of gunfire, the department referred HuffPost to a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the department had an “abundance of information” that shows the same man was a suspect.
NPR reported that Thomas’ attorney, Roderick Brooks, also told them the gunman was Thomas. Brooks told WAFB that Thomas was not a suspect.
The arrest warrant affidavit says it “differs significantly” from what Thomas told reporters about the shooting.