|New Orleans Daily Picayune|
April 21, 1872
After briefly exchanging fire with his attackers, the thirty-nine-year-old Agnello tried to escape by jumping aboard the moored schooner Mischief. He was struck by shotgun blasts as he went over the rail of the schooner and fell onto the deck.
|New Orleans Republican|
April 21, 1872
Two bystanders were injured by flying lead. Customhouse official Joseph Soude was struck in the back by shotgun shot and died of his wounds as he was helped to his home. A youngster named Edward Nixon was wounded in the leg.
Police arrested Maressa and Joseph Florda (also known as Ignazio Renatz) for the killing. Florda had previously been arrested for counterfeiting. The accused were held at the Third Precinct's Jackson Square police station, where they argued that they shot Agnello in self-defense. Authorities recovered an Enfield rifle, two double-barreled shotguns and a horse pistol from the area of the shooting. One of the shotguns was found fully loaded (this belonged to Florda, who raised it to fire but noticed a police officer nearby and decided to drop it instead).
The death of Agnello marked the end of a Mafia war in New Orleans that started in 1868. Mafiosi originating in Palermo, Sicily, were briefly eclipsed in the Crescent City by underworld factions transplanted from Trapani and Messina and by the Stuppagghieri organization based in Monreale.
- "Murder in the Second District," New Orleans Crescent, April 2, 1869, p. 1.
- "La Vendetta: shooting affray on Poydras Street," New Orleans Times-Democrat, Sept. 13, 1871, p. 6.
- "The city," New Orleans Daily Picayune, Sept. 13, 1871, p. 2.
- "Another Sicilian vendetta," New Orleans Times-Democrat, April 21, 1872, p. 3.
- "The Sicilian feud again," New Orleans Republican, April 21, 1872, p. 5.
- "The vendetta," New Orleans Daily Picayune, April 21, 1872, p. 3.
- "The Italian war," New Orleans Republican, April 23, 1872, p. 5.
- "The Sicilian vendetta," Nashville TN Union and American, April 30, 1872, p. 3 [reprinted articles from the New Orleans Picayune and New Orleans Times-Democrat of April 21].
- "Vicentio Ossica...," New Orleans Republican, June 4, 1872, p. 5.
Learn more about the early New Orleans Mafia:
Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca
and the Birth of the American Mafia
by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon