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Good Samaritan, shot by carjacker, dies in front of his 2 sons

By Rick Martin and Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 1:23 AM EST, Thu January 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Harry "Mike" Ainsworth jumped on the hood of a car and was shot
  • He was running to help a woman in New Orleans
  • The good Samaritan's two sons, ages 9 and 10, sit with their father as he dies
  • The woman is unharmed, and police search for the gunman, an apparent carjacker

(CNN) -- A 44-year-old New Orleans man died in front of his two sons Wednesday after he responded to a woman's screams and was shot by an apparent carjacker, according to police and family members.

Harry "Mike" Ainsworth was with his two sons, ages 9 and 10, as the boys were waiting for a morning school bus, Ainsworth's brother, Bill, told CNN affiliate WWL.

The two boys saw their father try to help the female motorist in the Algiers Point neighborhood and, after their father was shot, the boys ran to him and sat with him until emergency responders showed up, Bill Ainsworth said.

"They were there with him when he passed," Ainsworth said. "It's going to be hard on them."

"Pray the cops find him before I do," he said about the carjacker, in an interview with CNN affiliate WDSU.

The series of events began when a carjacker approached a woman motorist sitting in her vehicle, knocked on the window and asked for the time, New Orleans police said.

As the woman turned to check the time, the carjacker pulled out a handgun and told the woman to get out of the automobile, police said.

Ainsworth then jumped on the hood of the vehicle, and the carjacker shot him, left the car and ran, police said.

Police released a sketch of the suspect and were offering a $5,000 reward to anonymous tipsters who can help detectives find a black man, in his 20s, between 5-6 and 5-8 in height, and weighing 140 to 150 pounds, detectives said.

The woman was unharmed, New Orleans police spokesman Frank Robertson said.

"When you have someone trying to come to the aid of someone who is in need and -- whenever something like this happens, it's a real tragedy," police Lt. Gary Marchese told WWL.

Skip Gallagher, president of the Algiers Point Neighborhood Association, told WDSU that good Samaritans aren't unusual in the neighborhood.

"I think any other male that had heard that in the neighborhood would have done the same thing," Gallagher said. "They heard some woman screaming, they would have come running. I would have, and every male in this neighborhood would have done the same thing, and we see what happens.

"I'm not sure it's going to change my behavior."

A fund has been established to help the Ainsworth family.

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