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DeBacker: We grieve for the lives lost and injured in the tragic shooting affecting Groundwork New Orleans


Groundwork New Orleans, an outstanding youth development and environmental stewardship nonprofit in New Orleans, was struck by tragedy last week. Four members of its Ground Crew were brutally shot in broad daylight while installing green infrastructure at a church in the city. Two of the young men perished.

As Groundwork New Orleans’ executive director said, they were “talented and hardworking young men, growing into leaders in their chosen field of urban water management and construction.” The precious lives of Derrick Copelin and Zernell Lee were cut short, and the lives of two of their colleagues were forever altered.

The pain caused by this tragic event extends to all who knew the young men, know Groundwork New Orleans, and witnessed the shooting.

The Kresge Foundation extends its condolences to each person who is grieving as a result of this horrific event. If you are able, please consider making a donation to Groundwork New Orleans to assist the victims and their families.

Sending wishes for peace and comfort.