Brian Hanrahan (32) from Killenaule, Co. Tipperary was shot in the lower spine and leg in the city’s Seventh Ward. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit at ILH Interim University hospital close to six in the morning.
Hospital staff told the Irish Independent he is expected to make a full recovery.
Hanrahan and his father, who lives in Missouri, were taking a road trip across America’s Route 66 when they stopped in New Orleans. He was due to return to work during the first week of February.
“He is very much a well respected member of An Garda Siochana here and is well known by all the community in Newcastle West,” a fellow Limerick police officer said.
Hanrahan was recently married and has a one-year-old daughter.
The New Orleans Police Department said that the perpetrator demanded Hanrahan’s money - when Hanrahan refused, he shot twice and then fled. He has been described as a black male, approximately 40 years old, wearing a gray shirt and dark-colored baseball cap.
A source described Hanrahan as "well known in the community there. He's from Tipperary originally but he's married to a young local girl and they've a young baby. They're not too long married either," a source said.
"He's a regular Garda, working in the community doing station work, out on the car, and out on the beat. Everybody is absolutely shocked. He's a well-liked guy.”
Mayor of Limerick Kevin Sheahan said: “My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time and I join with everyone in Limerick wishing him well and a full recovery from this dreadful ordeal.”
The Irish House restaurant and other organizations in Irish Network New Orleans are hosting a fundraiser on January 31 to raise money for officer Hanrahan’s medical needs.
"Please join us to show how the Irish community is strong and together and will help all in times of need," Irish House owner Matt Murphy wrote in an email announcing the benefit.
"It also shows that our city cares. This is huge news in Ireland and this mugger's actions paint the city in a very bad light." Murphy said the benefit is an informal gathering and will feature music and bagpipes.
Honorary Consul of Ireland in Louisiana James F. McKay III reports additional fundraising efforts by The Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Emerald Society are underway to assist Hanrahan and his family.
Hanrahan’s wife and mother will be flying in from Ireland on Wednesday.
“Regrettably, Garda Hanrahan met a criminal element in our city," McKay said in a press release. I am pleased that he is now meeting the compassion and support for which the Irish Community in New Orleans is world-renowned.”