Dec 152011
 

Bullet holes are visible in the vehicle where two men were sitting when they were shot to death Wednesday night on Annunciation Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Two men were shot to death Wednesday night on a small stretch of Annunciation Street plagued with a persistent gun violence that has defied any efforts by police or residents to control it.

The two men were in a burgundy Buick Century in the 3900 block of Annunciation about 7 p.m. when they were fired upon by a group of gunmen in a dark-colored truck, said New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Hilal Williams. The Buick then apparently started forward, but crashed into another car parked on the opposite side of the street, police said.

The passenger was found dead in the car, and the driver died on the way to the hospital, Williams said. The passenger has been identified as Terrance Barber, 27, and the driver was Jamal Phillips, 28, according to nola.com. Police said it was unclear whether the men actually lived in the area, but that they did appear to have a connection to it.

Annunciation Street for about three blocks around General Taylor and Peniston streets is a deadly anomaly in an otherwise tranquil New Orleans neighborhood. Over the past six months, the short stretch has seen a murder in August, a nonfatal shooting in October and separate reports of discharging firearms in three other incidents. In the 50 surrounding blocks between Louisiana and Napoleon avenues on the river side of Magazine Street, only one other gun crime was reported in the same period.

Neighbors to the violence complained to police during the summer about crowds of gun-wielding men who gathered on the street in that area, and several undercover teams were sent to investigate, officials with the NOPD Second District said at the time. The investigators did not observe evidence of drug or gun activity, however, and the officers were reassigned to other hot spots in the district.

Councilwoman Stacy Head began soliciting the neighborhood for information about problem properties herself after the latest shooting in October, but has yet to take any public action on the issue. The entire area is now slated to be moved into the neighboring NOPD Sixth District.

For about two hours after the shooting, a large but mostly quiet crowd gathered behind the crime-scene tape to watch the investigation, including a handful of children playing in a vacant lot nearby. An ATF agent with a police dog searched the scene for evidence around the street while police prepared the Buick to be impounded, its driver’s side windows and doors riddled with at least a dozen bullet holes.

Police investigate the scene of a double homicide on Annunciation Street. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

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  • Darrell

    Heard the shots from my balcony while I was smoking a cigarette. First thing I thought was, “Annunciation”. Took a stroll down to 2nd District, they were already on top of it. Made me nostalgic for Baghdad. Shame this is happening in our neighborhood.

  • Darrell

    Comment seen on the linked NOLA.com article: “It’s not the giant apartment complex anymore. HANO kicked everyone out of it two years ago and renovated it. So far the new tenants have not been a problem. The problem is the duplex at 3917/3919 Annunciation. The police know this. Our city councilwoman knows this. All of the neighbors know it. This one group of people in one house is holding the entire neighborhood hostage.”

  • Babs Johnson

    The duplex at 3717-19 Annunciation is owned by an Annie Overton at 4014 Laurel Street. The assessors site shows it was purchased by her on 8-27-2008 for $34,100.00. If this is the problem property, she needs to be held accountable for the tenants she places in the residence.

    It is interesting to note that in the 3900 block of Annunicaiton there are 8 duplexes, 1 triplex, 1 four unit and 1 six unit. Out of the 8 duplexes only 3 are owner occupied and of course the larger units are owned by people who live in other parts of the city,Jefferson Parish or out of state.

    The police must get a handle on this area and hold the property owners who allow criminals to live in their buildings accountable. This has gone on far too long and terrorized far too many people.

    • Z

      yes. i agree she needs to be held responsible for her tenants. i’ve lived in the area for 8 years. never had a problem till these tenants moved in. at least 4 shooting have been directly related to the 3917 address

  • Babs Johnson

    Z- Were the men who were killed tenants at the 3917-19 address or do others live there. That will be helpful in dealing with the landlord.