‘She had an infectious smile, she was a good person;’ friends mourn nurse killed on Bourbon Street


NEW ORLEANS — The innocent bystander killed in Sunday morning’s shooting on Bourbon Street was identified by friends and family as Julie Couvillon. 

After learning about what happened, many say they’re at a loss for words.

Devastation, sadness, and shock are just a few words used by friends and family of Couvillon.

“The situation should’ve never happened and that’s really it,” said Angela Negoda.

Negoda is a childhood friend of Couvillon’s. She and her husband, Andrew, spoke with Eyewitness News by phone from their Chicago home. They shared a few memories of Couvillon and how she was a beautiful person inside and out.

“Great smile, wonderful outlook on life, good kid,” Angela said. “She had a good daughter and just liked life.”

“She had an infectious smile,” Andrew added. “Julie was the type of person where if you met her you were friends with her instantly. She was a good person.”

However, Sunday morning, a lifetime of friendship was taken away in a split second when Couvillon was killed by gunfire from a fight on Bourbon that didn’t involve her.

“It’s horrible,” said Angela. “You don’t believe it at first. You don’t believe it.”

“Everybody is really shook up about it, ” said Andrew. “It’s hard to absorb.”

Authorities haven’t officially identified Couvillon as the person killed in the incident, but friends and family have. Her employer, Ochsner Health System, also sent a statement saying in part:

“We are terribly shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague, Julie Couvillon. An employee for 13 years, Julie was a beloved nurse who dedicated her life to caring for others. This is a devastating loss to the nurses, employees, physicians and staff across our system. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and the families of the other victims. We ask for respect and privacy for all of the families and others involved during this difficult time.” 

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“She was very intelligent,” added Angela. “She was a nurse, worked hard.”

For those who knew Couvillon, grasping what happened is proving difficult because, they say, she was one-of-a-kind. And they know her kind, loving spirit, will live on through them.

“She was a great mother, she was an incredible mother,” said Andrew. “She worked really, really hard. We’ll miss her so much.”

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