July 11, 2003
Trio in Gun Fight Turns Up at Hospital Where Ex-Officer Died
Officer Down: Kelly Marrione Jr. - [Metairie, Louisiana]
Cops: Hurt gunman sought help
By Michelle Hunter, New Orleans Times Picayune
Seriously wounded in a shootout that followed a failed attempt to rob a
retired New Orleans police officer outside his Metairie home, Mark
Cambre turned to two high school friends for help, authorities said.
The pair, who are cooperating with detectives and have not been
identified, picked up Cambre from his Metairie home after Wednesday's
shooting and took him to Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Jefferson
Parish Sheriff Harry Lee said Thursday.
During the drive, the three men came up with a false name for Cambre
and frantically concocted a legitimate-sounding explanation for the
gunshot wounds to Cambre's right hand and abdomen, Lee said.
But any hopes of flying under police radar were dashed when the three
men pulled up to an emergency room overflowing with police officers
mourning the death of 29-year veteran Kelly Marrione Jr., who deputies
say got off five shots and wounded Cambre in the shootout.
Detectives had no solid leads on the two men seen driving away from the
scene of the shooting until Cambre arrived at Charity Hospital for
treatment, and officers saw through his story of how he was injured, Lee
"It was just fortuitous that the perpetrator just walked in amidst all
those policemen," said Lee, whose office is handling the investigation.
Victim trailed from store
One day after Marrione, 53, was gunned down in the driveway of his
Metairie home, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office had the two
suspects in custody, and investigators have learned new details about
the robbery gone awry.
Cambre, 27, of 8001 Dalton St., Metairie, underwent surgery for
injuries detectives say he received in the shootout with Marrione. He
was in stable condition at Charity on Thursday, Lee said. He had not
been charged but will be booked with first-degree murder when he is
released, Lee said.
Detectives arrested Cambre's alleged accomplice, Donald Logan Jr., 27,
of 3212 39th St., Metairie, on Wednesday night at his home. He was
booked with first-degree murder and armed robbery and was being held
Thursday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center without bond on the
At a news conference Thursday, Lee said the shootout was touched off
when Cambre and Logan followed Marrione from a local home improvement
store and tried to rob him as he arrived in his driveway on Toby Lane
about 3:45 p.m. Marrione and the two suspects fired a total of 13 shots,
Lee said. Marrione was hit three times, in the chest and left arm.
Marrione, who retired in December from the New Orleans Police
Department, managed to fire five shots, Lee said. Police found eight
shell casings from the two attackers' guns, but the weapons have not
Friends to be charged
Detectives found a white 1998 Toyota Tacoma with a shattered passenger
window, which matched the description of the pickup Marrione's neighbors
told deputies they saw backing out of the driveway and speeding off just
after shots rang out.
The truck belongs to the father of Logan's brother's girlfriend, Lee
said. It was found at a home in New Orleans, Lee said. Investigators
towed the vehicle to the forensic bureau for processing.
Charges are pending against the two unidentified men who dropped off
Cambre at the hospital, Lee said. He said they are in their mid-20s and
live in Metairie. Cambre has been uncooperative, but the two
unidentified men led detectives to Logan. And they provided new
information about the shooting.
Suspect seeks help
According to the two men, Cambre and Logan got in touch with them
Wednesday morning, said they intended to rob someone and asked if the
pair wanted to tag along, Lee said. No target had been picked, and the
two unidentified men told detectives that they turned down the offer.
It's not known why or how Marrione was targeted.
Later that afternoon, the two men told detectives, they received a
phone call from Cambre, who was wounded, asking if they would pick him
up at his home, where Logan had dropped him off, Lee said. The two
agreed and helped come up with a story to cover for Cambre's injuries,
"Their initial story was they found him shot in New Orleans and brought
him to the hospital," Lee said.
The men arrived at Charity shortly after Marrione, who had just been
pronounced dead, Lee said. NOPD officers at the hospital thought the
men's story sounded suspicious and took the two friends into custody for
"That's when their story started to crumble," Lee said.
Logan's family refused to comment on Thursday.
Relatives of Cambre who gathered at his father's home on West Napoleon
Avenue in Metairie said they were advised by a lawyer not to comment,
but they did say .
they were angry that they could not get any information about Cambre's
"They threw us out of the hospital," one relative said.
Lee said Cambre's family will not be allowed to see him until he is
questioned by investigators.
'He gave his all'
Meanwhile, at a Night Out Against Crime program Thursday night,
Marrione was remembered by colleagues.
Marrione, one of three original NOPD crime prevention officers in the
1970s, helped found the awards event and would have attended Thursday's
"His whole career, he gave his all," Police Superintendent Eddie
Compass said. "If he was out there fighting crime, he gave his all. Or
if he was working with a neighborhood group, he gave his all. And you
don't realize how good someone is, how much of an influence they've been
on your life, until they're not with you anymore.
"To know Kelly is to love him," Compass said, "and if you were not
fortunate enough to know Kelly, you really missed out on a lot."