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XULA student arrested in fatal Mardi Gras hit-and-run involving Grammy-winning musician

Jeremy E. Lindsey, 21, was booked for vehicular homicide and hit-and-run driving Tuesday morning after allegedly striking Kerry "Fatman" Hunter.

XULA senior Jeremy E. Lindsey, left, allegedly struck and killed drummer Kerry "Fatman" Hunter, 53, with a sedan on Tuesday morning in New Orleans.

A student from Xavier University of Louisiana, the nation’s Catholic HBCU, has been charged with vehicular homicide following a hit-and-run incident on Mardi Gras involving a well-known local musician.

21-year-old Jeremy E. Lindsey, at the time a member of the Gold Nuggets men’s basketball team, was booked Tuesday in the Orleans Justice Center after allegedly striking Kerry “Fatman” Hunter, 53, with a sedan just after midnight near the intersection of North Claiborne and Elysian Fields Avenue. Hunter was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Hunter was best known as the drummer of the Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Nightcrawlers, a regional jazz group founded in 1994.

“There are no words for what we feel other than shocked that Kerry Fatman Hunter is not with us anymore. His spirit will always be present. He made every band he played with sound and feel great,” the band posted on social media Thursday morning.

“Fatman was an important part of New Orleans culture and contributed to it, loved it, breathed it and lived it. Now that big piece of the culture is gone.”

Lindsey, who police say flagged down paramedics and registered a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, has not been charged with drunk driving but faces a second charge of hit-and-run driving. His bail was set at $60,000.

Hunter, who played in multiple jazz bands in New Orleans, was honored with multiple second line parades in the city this week, with friends and families telling local media of his kind demeanor, dedication to his craft, and support for younger musicians. He leaves behind his wife, according to The Times-Picayune.

“Kerry Hunter was a fixture on the music scene in New Orleans,” said New Orleans actor Wendell Pierce on social media Wednesday night.

“When I saw him on the bandstand, I knew the continuum of tradition and creativity that is part of brass band music in the Crescent City was being held up to a high standard of the syncopation. RIP.”

Lindsey, a XULA senior who was studying pre-med psychology, is a native of Covington, Louisiana. He was a consistent contributor for the Gold Nuggets team before his arrest this week while on school break for Mardi Gras. As of Friday, his name no longer appeared on the online roster for the team.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred over the Mardi Gras holiday allegedly involving one of our students who was not involved in any Xavier University activity at the time,” the university said in a statement.

“We grieve the loss of a life. Our hearts go out to the family and friends who loved Mr. Hunter. We have no other comments since, as noted, this incident was not related to any university activity.”

Hunter’s death was one of two suspected vehicular homicides on the holiday in New Orleans, which caps the Carnival season leading up to Lent. A woman was struck and killed in the Central City neighborhood on Wednesday night, prompting an ongoing NOPD investigation.

The City of New Orleans released recent crime statistics on Thursday and called this year’s Mardi Gras celebrations “safe” and “successful,” though citing 383 arrests on or near parade routes.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger.

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