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Amid Katrina chaos, officer commits suicide

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posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 02:55 PM
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Life wasn't supposed to end this way for Sgt. Paul Accardo: alone in chaos.

He wrote a note telling anyone who found him to contact a fellow officer. He was precise, and thoughtful, to the end. Then he stuck a gun into his mouth and killed himself.

Accardo, 36, was one of two city police officers who committed suicide last week as New Orleans descended into death and destruction after Hurricane Katrina swept through. He was found in an unmarked patrol car Saturday in a downtown parking lot.

His funeral is planned for Wednesday.

Back when life was normal and structured, Accardo served as one of the police department's chief spokesmen. He reported murders, hostage situations and rapes in measured words, his bespectacled face benign and familiar on the nightly news.

"Paul was a stellar guy. A perfectionist. Everything had to be just right," recalled Sgt. Joe Narcisse, who went to police academy with Accardo and worked with him in the public affairs office.

Uniform crisply pressed, office in order, everything just right on his desk. That was Accardo.


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