- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 19-year-old man was in custody Saturday after pointing a gun at himself and later allegedly shooting a barber in the leg at a hair salon in eastern New Orleans.

An undercover police officer was among about 15 people in the salon when Pershing Willie Gilmore of St. Rose and his mother walked in Saturday morning, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.

“There was just a bad feeling” when they walked in, Dorian Baham, owner of the Picture Me Rollin salon, told The Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/1fxWx3h).

She said Gilmore was distraught and agitated, pacing the store with one hand in his black hoodie pocket. At one point, she said, he started to cry, saying he’d be 20 on Sunday and “didn’t want to hurt anyone.”

After arguing with his mother, Gilmore pulled a handgun from his waistband and put it under his chin, Officer Frank Robertson said in a news release.

Customers fled, some locking themselves into a bathroom. After trying to get into the bathroom, Gilmore fired several shots into the lower part of the door, hitting one man, Robertson said.

Moments after SWAT team officers spoke with him on the phone, Gilmore came out with his mother and surrendered, Robertson said. Everyone else in the salon left the building unharmed.

Robertson said Gilmore was booked on charges of aggravated battery by shooting, false imprisonment, and offender armed with a dangerous weapon.

He said he did not know whether Gilmore has ever been convicted. He said he has been arrested in Louisiana on charges of aggravated battery and criminal trespassing and in Texas on a charge of illegally carrying weapons.

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