December 14, 2002 - The New Orleans Police Department will commemorate the 30th anniversary of an incident known as the Howard Johnson sniper. On January 7, 1973 a sniper had set numerous fires in the Howard Johnson hotel in downtown New Orleans. As police and firefighters responded to the scene the sniper fired on them with a .44 magnum rifle. During the encounter, which lasted about 24 hours, the sniper killed three police officers, including Deputy Superintendent Louis Sirgo, the Department's second-in-command, before the sniper was killed by police gunfire. The hotel's manager and assistant manager were killed along with two guests; several other police officers, firefighters and hotel guests were injured in the attack.
This incident was a culmination of a week of violence by the sniper, who first struck on December 31, 1972. On this date the sniper fired on several police officers at the Central Lockup, fatally wounding an 18 year old police cadet, Alfred Harrell and wounding a police lieutenant. Canine Officer Edwin Hosli, Sr. was shot and wounded by the sniper while conducting a search of the area and expired from his wounds in March, 1973.
NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass, III announced that a memorial service to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the sniper attack will be held on January 7, 2003 at 10 a.m. in the plaza in front of NOPD Headquarters at 715 South Broad St. The plaza was named the Louis Sirgo Plaza many years ago in tribute to the Deputy Superintendent who lost his life during the attack. The public is invited to attend.