Anti-masker murders police officer who was escorting him away from basketball game
Martinus Mitchum. (Photo via Tulane University)

A police officer was shot and killed in New Orleans during a dispute over mask requirements at a high school basketball game.

Police said 35-year-old John Shallerhorn tried to enter George Washington Carver High School's gymnasium Friday about 6:15 p.m. for a playoff game against Warren Easton High when he was stopped by an employee who was checking temperatures and enforcing a mask mandate, reported

Shallerhorn fought with the school employee before Martinus Mitchum, a Tulane University police officer and 2nd City Court deputy constable who was working for the school as a security guard, tried to break up the altercation.

The 38-year-old Mitchum was escorting Shallerhorn off the campus when the man allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the officer twice, police said.

Shallerhorn then placed his gun on the ground, police said, and Orleans Parish sheriff's deputies who were at the school arrested him.

Mitchum was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Before the shooting, Shallerhorn also robbed a medallion chain at gunpoint from a 39-year-old man sitting in a parked car.

Shallerhorn could potentially face the death penalty on charges of first-degree murder of a police officer and armed robbery.