Police arrest New Orleans man accused of shooting, killing man in dispute at gas station line

Published 9:35 pm Saturday, September 4, 2021

A man wanted in the shooting death of another man during a dispute in a line at a gas station in suburban New Orleans is in custody, authorities confirmed Saturday.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said Walter Sippio, 20, of New Orleans surrendered late Friday, and he was arrested early Saturday on one count of second-degree murder for the slaying of Dwayne Nosacka, 36, of Metairie, Lopinto said. Sippio is being held on $500,000 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The shooting happened just after 4 p.m. Friday at a Chevron gas station in Metairie. Deputies responded to multiple 911 calls and found Nosacka with a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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“It’s good he turned himself in, but we had no doubt that he would have been caught even if he hadn’t surrendered,” Lopinto said during a news conference at the sheriff’s offices in Gretna, Louisiana.

Sippio claims the shooting was self-defense, but Lopinto said that doesn’t jibe with witness statements or other evidence from the scene.

“There was no sign of a physical argument between the parties,” he said. “There was a verbal argument and the suspect went back to his car, pulled and pointed a gun at the victim who put his hands up before the suspect fired.”

“We have the suspect, firearm and the vehicle involved at this time,” he added.

Lopinto urged residents struggling with circumstances after Hurricane Ida to remain patient.

“I’m asking everybody to calm down,” he said. “Things will get better. You’ve got allow our critical services to catch up. They’ve powered up the hospital near my house. The Entergy map shows my house has power too. It doesn’t. Do I think we will have power soon? The answer is I do.”

Lopinto said urged residents to stay home and off the roads if there’s no great need.

“Stay home if you can. If you need gas, be patient. Act like adults. Don’t try and cut the lines. We are better than this,” he said.

Lopinto said their investigation shows Sippio allegedly cut through the gas line ahead of Nosacka. Sippio’s girlfriend, who was in his car, tried to de-escalate the situation but couldn’t.

“This is a senseless killing. No one should be dying over gas. I said yesterday that the suspect should just turn himself in because we wouldn’t rest until we found him, and he did. The JPSO will continue to do everything in our power to keep Jefferson Parish a safe place to live and raise a family, and right now we need everyone to come together and cooler heads to prevail as we attempt to recover from Hurricane Ida,” he said.

Lopinto said it was the second time Friday his office received a report of a gun being pulled at a gas station. He said the incidents have likely been occurring because of tempers flaring over gas shortages and other circumstances arising from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

“Unbelievable that people can’t act like adults in this situation,” he said.

The sheriff said people need to be patient because many gas stations don’t have the resources to meet demand. He said people should be prepared to wait in long lines and in the heat until the situation improves.