Jan 092014
Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 4500 block of South Robertson. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Police investigate a fatal shooting in the 4500 block of South Robertson. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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.

  • SafetyDance

    we left this neighborhood due to an increasing and obvious drug trade happening. also domestic disputes that you could hear throughout the neighborhood involving firearms. the new freret is a great place to dine, but anything north of Freret st is dodgey.

    • SD-
      Understood- and it’s hard to fight with all the vacant blighted property- add an understaffed NOPD and the obvious drug thrives. The good news is many new Project NOLA and private crime cameras are now up (not just on Freret)- and notice all the new construction and places like the Freret Clay Center-
      More eyes on the street= more Tip Sheets to NOPD
      If you see it please report it.

      Andy Brott

    • Yvonne

      Thanks for posting. I’ve been living or working on Freret since 2003. I think what works is neighbors, actively calling police. As for videocameras, I have mixed feelings. I think they are kind of creepy/big brother-ey, and encourage a division among neighbors, BUT, they are prob really helpful with prosecution.

      What doesn’t work, in my opinion, is:

      Hypocrisy- I’ve personally watched neighbors who were guilty of owning blighted property with broken down cars, move in and demand an end to blight. Not helpful.

      Micromanaging our neighbors- I personally think that good neighbor agreements are garbage. It allows one or 2 people, potentially, who are in charge of a neighborhood group, to restrict business. There is no accountability for what those few leaders of a group, have to gain or lose

    • Yvonne

      Wouldn’t let me keep writing. Sorry. Lastly

      Racism- totally not helpful. Trying to edge the old timers out with restrictive provisions, and increases in fees, isn’t helpful. Their contributions to our neighborhood, should applauded, not frowned upon. Raising taxes are a huge problem for some of our elderly.

      To me, being a good neighbor is watching out for your neighbors, not spying on them, or nitpicking everything you can. It’s calling the police if there’s a danger. It’s helping the elderly fix up their homes. To me, a great example of a good neighbor, is my partner, Michael Collins. He goes above and beyond to help neighbors, (by doing things like putting a new roof on an elderly woman’s house,) AND co-owns a bar. He renovates property, and participates, without having the arrogance to judge his neighbors, or try to speak for everyone.

      Violent crime is still a huge problem. Remember Sandy Gaynor? Shot in front of his house on chestnut last year. It’s a “good” neighborhood. He’s a decent man who is now a quadriplegic. Drugs are big business. I don’t have the solution, but maybe being kind to each other is a good place to start.