News Segment


January 5, 2004

NEW ORLEANS – Singer-songwriter Ray Davies of the celebrated British rock band the Kinks was shot in the leg while chasing thieves who snatched a purse from a woman he was with, police said Monday. He was not seriously injured.

Police said Davies, 59, and the woman were walking near the edge of the French Quarter at 8:30 p.m. Sunday when a passing car stopped and a gunman jumped out and demanded the purse.

The woman handed it to him, and the thief ran back to the car. When Davies ran after him, the thief shot Davies in the leg, said Capt. Marlon Defillo, a police spokesman. The woman was not hurt.

Davies was treated and released at a hospital, Defillo said.

Police said Davies got the license number of the car, which officers were able to trace. They arrested Jerome Barra, 25, as he drove up to a house hours after the shooting.

Barra was booked on charges of armed robbery and aggravated battery. Another suspect was being sought.

Deke Arlon, Davies’ manager in London, said: “He should be up and about in a day or so. The message that came back to me was that he is in good spirits.” Neither he nor police would say who the woman was with Davies.

The shooting happened blocks away from Bourbon Street, which was awash with people in town for Sunday night’s Sugar Bowl, the Bowl Championship Series game between LSU and Oklahoma. More than 500 police officers were in the area and were able to respond quickly to the shooting, police chief Eddie Compass said.

“I’m sorry for what happened, but Mr. Davies showed poor judgment in running after the individuals,” Compass said.

He said Davies was in town visiting a friend.

The Kinks, part of the 1960s British invasion, had a string of hits including “You Really Got Me,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “All Day and All of the Night” and “Lola.” Davies founded the band, known for its hard-edged, guitar-driven sound and witty lyrics, with his brother Dave.

Last week, Davies received royal honors in London. Along with singer-guitarist Eric Clapton, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire at a ceremony on New Year’s Eve.

Arlon said Davies was spending time in New Orleans as part of a seasonal break. The manager declined to name the hospital where the star was treated.

Kevin McGill courtesy of Associated Press