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Man charged with killing security officer at basketball game

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FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2021 file photo, New Orleans police investigate after the fatal shooting of a police officer at George Washington Carver High School where a basketball game was being played in New Orleans. The Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office said late Thursday, June 17, that John Shallerhorn was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Martinus Mitchum. Mitchum was a Tulane University officer and a reserve constable for a city court. (Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans man has been charged with killing an off-duty university police officer outside a high school basketball game where he’d shown up without a mask. 

John Shallerhorn, 35, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Martinus Mitchum, the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office said in a news release emailed late Thursday. 

Shallerhorn threw down his gun and surrendered immediately after the shooting outside the George Washington Carver High School gymnasium, police have said.

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The indictment also charged Shallerhorn with armed robbery using a firearm. Police have said jewelry taken during a holdup nearby was found on him.

Martinus, a Tulane University police officer and a reserve officer for a city court, was working as security during the evening basketball game, police have said. 

Shallerhorn had struck a school ticket-taker in the face after being told he couldn't enter, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said March 1. 

Police reports state that he was being turned away because he wasn't wearing a face mask, Thursday's news release said. News agencies reported that, earlier Feb. 26, police were called to get him out of a casino because he wasn't wearing a mask. 

Attorneys Mariah Holder of the parish public defender's office and William Boggs of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center were building an insanity defense during a March 20 hearing, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported.

 Boggs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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