Man Accused of Shooting at Rescue Helicopter During Katrina Goes on Trial

(WWL-TV) -- A man on trial for allegedly shooting at a rescue helicopter during Hurricane Katrina was found guilty of possessing a firearm Wednesday, but a jury will further debate whether he fired at the helicopter.

Wendell Bailey is the first and only person to be tried for firing at helicopters.

During the storm it became a huge concern as reports circulated that snipers were scaring off rescuers.

"Once they started shooting at us, they shut down the operation," said one hospital worker.

Bailey faces federal charges for trying to shoot down an aircraft.

Agents said they caught him in the act, and that he claimed to have told officers at the time that the choppers "won't be back now."

The suspect's mother, Carolyn Bailey claimed her son was innocent and said prosecutors cannot prove he fired at any helicopters.

"He said I didn't fire on any helicopter. I didn't know anything about any guns being in the house and I didn't fire any guns and I don't know why they said I did it," said Carolyn Bailey.

The jury has been handed the case at federal court.

Investigators said that just because Bailey was the only person charged does not mean more people didn't shoot at the helicopters. Police said they simply may not have been able to find them in the chaos.