A TikTok star was shot dead on Friday morning after being caught in a crossfire of a gunfight while he was shopping for his grandmother at a supermarket in New Orleans. Brandon 'Boogie B' Montrell, 43, a comedian, who boasted more than a quarter of a million followers was shot to death outside a Warehouse District grocery store while sitting in his car.
According to a cousin of Montrell's who spoke to Fox 8, the comedian had been living in Los Angeles while seeking a career in entertainment but had recently returned to Slidell to spend Christmas with his mother and grandmother but was tragically killed.
News of Montrell's death quickly spread across social media on Friday night even though the New Orleans police and the Orleans Parish Coroner's office hadn't revealed the victim's identity till Saturday afternoon had passed. With
Montrell gained popularity on TikTok and Instagram for his amusing "Hood History" series of films by giving historical locations, occasions, and people in New Orleans a hilarious spin.
According to New Orleans police, Montrell looked to have been caught in the crossfire and was not the original target of the shooting that was happening between two men in the store's parking lot.
The comedian had been living in Los Angeles while seeking a career in entertainment but had recently returned to Slidell to spend Christmas with his mother and grandmother.
Police have released surveillance photos of two suspects with a getaway gray or silver vehicle and a picture of Dyamonique Smith, a lady they want to speak with. The case has not yet resulted in any arrests.
Montrell was also very popular on Facebook, where he has another 500,000 fans, and on Instagram, where he has about a quarter of a million followers.
Montrell was well-known for his "Hood History" series of movies, in which he humorously highlighted historical sites across the Crescent City. On Saturday, Montrell's mother slammed the city of New Orleans, claiming that her son's death was a sign of the city's long-term decline.
"My son was not just the victim of a stray bullet," Montrell's mother Sherilyn Price said Saturday in a statement released by family attorney Juan LaFonta.
"He's the victim of decades of neglect that have left New Orleans' youth with no hope for a future and with no real fear of consequences. It's past time for leaders in our city and all over to do their jobs. It matters who the president is, who the governor is, and who the mayor is. Leaders create opportunities â including the opportunity to live in peace without fear of random violence."
"When crime and violence in New Orleans became worrisome, Montrell relocated to Washington D.C. and became a comedian," her statement said.
Additionally, LaFonta described how Montrell's mother was "angry" about her son's murder and was hesitant to come out in public.
"She's angry but not in a 'street justice' kind of way. She's more angry that there's no leadership in this city to prevent things like this and no help for these kids doing these kinds of things."
According to the city's Metropolitan Crime Commission, the homicide rate in New Orleans has increased by 141 percent compared to 2019, while shootings are up 100%, carjackings are up 210%, and armed robberies are up 25%.
As of this point in the year, there have been 265 murders in the city, up from 213 at the same time the previous year, a 31 percent jump. The city hasn't experienced anything like it since 2003.