‘Horrific,’ ‘This has to stop:’ Woman fatally stabbed in 7th Ward; person of interest sought
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Portia Pollock, a beloved congo drummer in New Orleans and a therapist who helped people from Lake Charles to Cut Off, was stabbed to death in the 7th Ward Tuesday morning, according to police.
The New Orleans Police Department says the stabbing happened around 7:30 a.m. on June 8 in the 1500 block of North Dorgenois Street. Pollock was on her way to work when neighbors say they heard her scream.
Witnesses tell FOX 8 a man stabbed her multiple times before taking off in her SUV. Neighbors say they rushed over and applied pressure to her wounds before an ambulance arrived, but it was too late.
Pollock was transported to a hospital where she died.
“Portia was an amazing person. Portia was a healer and worked as a physical therapist,” Denise Graves says.
Pollock is described as being full of life, a drummer that played for the Congo Square Preservation Society for the last 31 years.
Father Luther Gray, CEO of the CSPS, called Pollock “fierce on those drums.”
“She would dance and play her harmonica,” he recalled. “She would have all these instruments she would pull out of her magic bag.”
Originally from Atlanta, Pollock fell in love with New Orleans and its people.
“Her family is all the way in Georgia,” Gray says. “Her family is her community here.”
Fellow drummers came together with neighbors for a ritual ceremony at the spot where she was murdered.
Graves says they plan on setting up an altar to honor Pollock’s life and “tremendous balance and input.”
“We’re here to do some drumming to make sure her heart beat still continues and it will never stop,” Gray says.
In a press conference Tuesday, NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson called the murder “horrific.”
“That could’ve been my mother,” he said.
Investigators are still trying to determine if this was a random act of violence.
Police have now issued an arrest warrant for Bryan Andry, 47.
Pollock’s vehicle was reported missing from the scene.
“This violence has to stop today,” Gray said. “That’s the call out to the community. This has to stop.”
Anyone with additional information on this incident is asked to contact NOPD Homicide Det. Rayell Johnson at 504-658-5300 or call anonymously to Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP.
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