A man was shot down in a volley of gunfire Thursday night on a Freret neighborhood street, stunning neighbors who have become unaccustomed to violence in recent years in an increasingly high-profile area of New Orleans.
The man’s body was discovered in the 4500 block of South Robertson around 9:15 p.m., police have said. He had been hit several times and pronounced dead on the scene.
Police have not released the victim’s name, but a woman at the crime scene who said she was his mother said he was 30 years old and lived on the Westbank.
“What was he doing way over here, lying in the bushes?” she asked. “I’m trying to see how he got here.”
One South Robertson resident was inside her house reading when the shooting began, but she didn’t recognize what she was hearing until the third of what sounded like eight or nine shots fired, she said. She got down on the floor — thinking of 11-year-old Arabian Gayles, killed last year by a bullet that came through wall of the west-Carrollton house where she was sleeping, she said — and called police. Within a minute a patrol car was in the block, she said, so she stepped outside on the porch to wave the officer down.
“I got to the stairs, and then I said, ‘Who’s hat is that? Who’s sneaker?’” said the woman, who asked that her name not be printed. “There was a dead guy in my bushes.”
She and neighbors didn’t recognize the man, but they have recently noticed an increase in people they didn’t recognize in the neighborhood, she said. Still, she was shocked by the unexpected outburst of violence in a neighborhood she has quickly grown to love since moving in last summer, she said.
“This neighborhood is so quiet and so decent,” she said. “Everyone in the neighborhood watches out for each other. I knew I would eventually see some violence, but I just didn’t expect it on the front lawn.”
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.