Cotton, 24, was shot several times Monday morning with her own gun. Police said she approached Bernel Johnson, 44, of Kenner as he was sitting in a miniature strip mall parking lot in the 2100 block of Earhart Boulevard. At some point, Johnson allegedly attacked her, wrestled away her gun, and beat and shot her. She was pronounced dead a short while later.
The shooting shook the NOPD to its core. Cotton graduated from the first recruit class after Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Warren Easton High School and lived in eastern New Orleans.