Woman shot in the back in McDonald’s parking lot on Carrollton

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Robert Morris, Uptown Messenger file photo

New Orleans police walk crime-scene tape around the site of a shooting in the parking lot of a McDonald’s on South Carrollton Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In the thick heat just before the sun began to set Tuesday afternoon, a middle-aged man stood on the Carrollton Avenue sidewalk with his wife and 8-year-old son and watched as crime scene technicians counted shell casings in the parking lot of McDonald’s.

“Sometimes I hate that I ever came back to New Orleans,” said 44-year-old Kenny Smith, a Gert Town resident who lives about three blocks from the latest shooting in his neighborhood. “You can’t even come to McDonald’s to get something to eat without worrying about getting shot at.”

About 5 p.m. Tuesday, a vehicle was driving through the parking lot of the McDonald’s in the 3400 block of South Carrollton, when a man with a gun ran up and started shooting, hitting a 21-year-old woman riding in the car, police said. The driver then took her to the hospital, where she was listed in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the back.

A crime-scene technician picks up the markers for shell casings in the McDonald’s parking lot. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

At the edge of the parking lot an hour later, Smith’s son leaned on a bicycle while his parents watched the investigation drag on. The bicycle was a Christmas present for his son’s straight A’s at Lafayette Academy, but the boy has only ridden it twice since then, his father said: He can’t let him ride it out of his sight.

“People are tired of seeing this,” Smith said, as police surrounded the crime scene with yellow police tape and placed green markers over the shell casings. “How are we supposed to live in fear?”

Smith has lived in Gert Town for 25 years, and he still loves the neighborhood, he said. He knows all his neighbors and loves them all. But after a lull in crime immediately following Hurricane Katrina, the violence suddenly returned, just as bad as it ever was, or maybe worse.

Now, he said, he’s thinking about moving to Mississippi, “cutting out.”

“You don’t feel safe with your child anymore,” Smith said. “You want to protect yours. But you don’t feel comfortable anymore. If this could have been stopped, it would have been stopped 10 years ago.”

Just as the New Orleans Police Department’s criminologists repeatedly state, Smith said the shootings in his neighborhood are done by ever-younger people, teenagers of only 16 or 17 years old who know the people they’re coming after.

“They don’t give a damn about life,” Smith said. “Nothing can be done about that.”

His wife and son said they wanted to head home, and Smith turned to join them. Despite his son’s good grades, Smith worries that he won’t see his 20s.

“I’m not scared for me,” Smith said. “I’m scared for him.”

Contact Robert Morris at rmorris@NolaMessenger.com, or post your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Woman shot in the back in McDonald’s parking lot on Carrollton

  1. I’m so sad for ‘my’ city; my birthplace. I am afraid to even come home for a visit. I NEVER thought I would ever leave home; until Katrina took away my home of 35 yrs./memories/spirit. I miss my friends [from kindergarten – thru college] and my family & my church family. A part of me died when I saw my home. Now when I read how innocent people are dying in gunfire from criminals who have no value on life. I sympathize with all the families who have to bury those who were innocent victims of random gunfire. My sons left NOLA before Katrina so we r all safer, I hope, in a huge city where all the crime is spread-out & hopefully the bullets won’t find us. I keep ‘my’ city in prayer & all you brave people who went back home….I’m a coward. there was only One murder, so far 2012.

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