Suspect arrested in May shooting of WWOZ radio host’s husband

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Police have arrested the man they say shot the husband of a WWOZ radio host during an attempted home invasion four months ago.

New Orleans police said a Crimestoppers tip helped lead to the Sept. 21 arrest of Tyrin Wiltz, after a three-hour standoff in Slidell. The NOPD said Wiltz was booked with attempted second-degree murder in connection with the May 23 shooting of Joe Cooper, whose wife Leslie is a popular radio personality on WWOZ.

NOPD Lt. Ernest Luster said, “We work in collaboration with all law enforcement agencies -- including the FBI -- as a multi-jurisdictional collaboration. So, we worked together to secure Mr. Wiltz into custody.”

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Leslie Cooper told Fox 8 in May that men showed up at their Gentilly home on May 23 to ask about a missing package. She said they became upset and left. But she said they returned that same afternoon and tried to force their way into the house.

“(Joe) opened the door and they tried to rush into the house,” Leslie Cooper said. “He yelled at me, ‘Baby get down!’ And said, ‘No, you are not coming in.’”

Cooper said her husband was trying to protect his family by pushing the men out when the suspect police identified as Wiltz pulled a gun and shot him multiple times. Luster said detectives do not believe Wiltz acted alone and that their investigation continues.

“I promised Mrs. Cooper that we would work hard to find her husband’s offender,” Luster said. “And I personally contacted her myself to let her know that we were getting closer to this case and that the New Orleans Police Department is dedicated to the citizens of this city.”

Luster said the NOPD does not believe the incident was a random act, and that investigators believe the family was targeted. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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