Reward increased to $100K in killing of NOLA officer gunned down at Houston restaurant

Businessman Tilman Fertitta announced the increased reward

HOUSTON – The reward was increased to $100,000 in the fatal shooting of New Orleans Det. Everett Briscoe.

Houston authorities -- including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner -- announced the increase on Tuesday. Previously the reward was $10,000.

Businessman Tilman Fertitta announced the increased reward.

“I’ll raise the reward to $100,000 to support the Houston Police Department and all their efforts to find these criminals and to help solve this crime this weekend,” Fertitta said. And as an extra effort to do my part, I’m going to contribute $1 million to the police department when he needs to solve a crime. When he needs a tipster out there and he needs 25 or 50 or $100,000, I will give him the money to help take these violent criminals off the street.”

Briscoe’s body was transported to New Orleans on Tuesday with a law enforcement escort.

RELATED: ‘How did this happen?’ Family, friends mourn death of off-duty New Orleans police officer killed in Houston

RELATED: $10K reward offered after off-duty New Orleans police officer fatally shot at Galleria restaurant

Briscoe, 41, was fatally shot Saturday at the Grotto Ristorante in the Galleria area while on a trip with friends from a well-known New Orleans social club.

Briscoe was a 13-year law enforcement veteran and a New Orleans police detective. He was also a husband and father of two.

If you have information, contact Houston Crime Stoppers at https://crime-stoppers.org/ or call 713-222-TIPS.

New Orleans police officer Everett Briscoe, a 13-year law enforcement veteran, was killed Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in a Galleria-area restaurant. Police said two men (top right) are accused in the fatal shooting. They fled in a Nissan Altima with paper plates. (Courtesy/Houston police)
Remembering New Orleans police detective Everett Briscoe, who was shot and killed in Houston
The off-duty officer was later identified as NOPD Detective Everett Briscoe, a 13-year law enforcement veteran. (KPRC)

Tilman released this statement following the news conference:

“I would like to thank all of you for being here. I have been chairman of the Houston Police Foundation for the past 14 years and I have worked closely with Chief Finner over the years.

“I have had numerous conversations with him in reference to the incident that occurred this weekend, and the Chief and his team are doing a great job for our city. Our hearts in Houston go out to the family of fallen off-duty police officer Everette Briscoe and the other victim involved in the incident.

“Everyone in Houston is aware of the dramatic increase in violent crime throughout our city. I find it particularly upsetting that a New Orleans policeman visiting our city for a vacation weekend met such a violent death. In Houston, we have to do better. We have a serious criminal justice problem here.

“According to the state…before COVID, Texas had 147,000 in our prison system and today it’s down to 117,000. Where do you think the difference is? They are on the streets.

“This is hard to believe, but there are 70,000 felony cases in Harris County alone waiting for their first court appearance. Many for armed robbery. And remember, most robbers do not do it once and retire. They are repeat offenders. I support prison reform, but I do not support letting violent felons roaming our streets.

“We can’t continue to just arrest people; we need our system to hold them accountable. Let’s be different than other big cities and states.

“Today, I’ll raise the reward to $100,000 to support Houston Police Department in all their efforts to find the criminals responsible for the heinous crime that occurred over the weekend. As an extra effort, I am contributing $1 million dollars to the Houston Police Department, for the Chief to use as rewards for information to find and arrest the dangerous criminals causing such violence in our city.

“I hope this contribution will help jumpstart efforts to get these violent and habitual felons off our streets soon. We have elected qualified city and county officials and it is time that this leadership work diligently with the justice system to hold these criminals accountable and make our city a safer place for all.”


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.