Kinks star Ray Davies shot chasing New Orleans muggers

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The Independent Culture

Ray Davies, the co-founder of the iconic Sixties pop band the Kinks, was recovering yesterday after being shot in the leg in New Orleans.

He had been chasing two muggers who snatched his unnamed female companion's handbag during an after-dinner stroll in the city's French Quarter. His wounds were not serious.

Just a week ago Davies, 58, was appointed CBE in the Queen's New Year honours list. As the musician who wrote such Kinks hits as "Waterloo Sunset", "Sunny Afternoon" and "Tired of Waiting for You", he is sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Britpop.

Police said Davies, 59, and the woman were walking on Sunday at 8:30pm when a car stopped and a gunman jumped out and demanded the purse. She handed it to him, and the thief ran back to the car. When Davies ran after him, the thief shot Davies in the leg, police Captain Marlon Defillo said. Davies was treated and released at a hospital.

The woman was not hurt and her name was not given. Davies noted the licence number of the car, which officers traced. They arrested Jerome Barra, 25, of New Orleans as he drove up to a house. Barra was charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery. Another suspect was being sought.

The bag-snatch was on Burgundy Street, a main thoroughfare through the French Quarter which is lined with hotels, restaurants and bars. While the neighbourhood, with its elegant period homes adorned with iron-lattice balconies, is often rowdy, the city has long proclaimed that the area is free of violent crime. Davies is still performing four decades after founding the Kinks with his brother Dave. The band had a profound influence on British music and has been crediting with creating heavy metal, with songs such as "All Day and All of the Night" and "You Really Got Me".

Eddie Compass of New Orleans police said: "I'm sorry for what happened but Mr Davies showed poor judgement in running after the individuals."