The family of Brandon “Boogie B” Montrell, the New Orleans-born comedian who was shot dead — inadvertently, police suspect — outside the Rouses grocery store in New Orleans’ Central Business District, blamed political leaders Saturday for his killing.
“My son was not just the victim of a stray bullet,” Sherilyn Price said 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 – including the opportunity to live in peace without fear of random violence.”
Montrell, 43, was fatally wounded Friday afternoon while sitting in a car in the parking lot of the Rouses Market at 701 Baronne St. Investigators doubt he was the intended target of the shooting, which disrupted shopping and rush-hour traffic in the CBD.
Police released surveillance photographs of two suspects and a getaway car, and a photo of a woman they want to question. They have not announced any arrests.
Montrell was born in New Orleans but spent much of his childhood in Tampa, Florida. On returning to Louisiana, he attended Alfred Bonnabel High School in Kenner and Delgado Community College.
After Hurricane Katrina waylaid the New Orleans region in 2005, he moved to Washington D.C, where he became a professional comedian and even recorded a hit song, “Catch the Wall,” with his cousin, the recording artist Hotboy Ronald, the family statement said.
His website says his comedic influences were Richard Pryor, Martin Lawrence, and Eddie Murphy, among others.
Montrell performed as a professional comedian in Washington, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and recently moved to Los Angeles. He was visiting his family for the holidays when he was killed Friday.
“My comedy comes from my struggles in life. My ability to take my pain and give others laughter is my motivation,” Montrell said on his website.
Said LaFonta: “Folks need to understand that what leads to horrors like this isn’t greed, it isn’t drugs and it isn’t violent tendencies. It’s the failure of our city’s leaders to provide proper and even minimal support for families and youth.”