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.
A swath of central Uptown with some of the most active neighborhood groups in the city will be patrolled by a completely different set of police officers after the first of the year, when the New Orleans Police Department shifts part of the boundary line between the Sixth and Second districts from Louisiana Avenue to Napoleon Avenue. The department has been designing the change in district boundaries for more than a year — NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas gave an overview of the process during city budget hearings in November 2010. Since that time, the city has purchased new computer software that analyzed the average time spent responding to calls for service in each district — examining both call volume and travel times — and district commanders have engaged in extensive discussion with leaders at police headquarters about where each line should be redrawn. In the Uptown area, the change will be simple but substantial. For decades, the boundary line between the Second and Sixth Districts has been Louisiana Avenue.
A persistent pocket of violence along Annunciation Street flared again this weekend, when a man fleeing a shootout in the 3700 block was struck in the foot by gunfire, police said. The victim was sitting on a vehicle just before 7 p.m. Friday when a stranger began shooting at a number of people sitting on a nearby porch, and as the victim turned to run, he was hit in the left foot, police said in an email alert Monday. The suspect is described as a black male of average build, between 18 and 21
years old, wearing a tan shirt and dark pants. Gatherings of gun-toting men along that corridor were the subject of complaints by neighbors in June, and Second District officials ordered extensive surveillance by undercover police but turned up no credible leads. A teenager was shot to death there in August, but his death has gone unsolved.
Investigators are looking for surveillance video footage on the streets in the area around the shooting this weekend that killed a teenager and wounded another man on Annunciation Street, authorities said. Anyone on Peniston Street between Tchoupitoulas and Magazine, or in the 3800 or 3900 blocks of Annunciation, who had security video recording between 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, is urged to call Detective Elizabeth Garcia at 658-5300 or 915-9240.
A teenager was killed and another man was wounded Friday evening in a shooting in an Uptown block of Annunciation Street that has been a growing source of concern for neighbors, police said. Two male victims were found on the sidewalk in the 3800 block of Annunciation with multiple gunshot wounds about 7:30 p.m., according to the New Orleans Police Department. The 17-year-old victim — identified as James Leon Wells by The Times-Picayune — was pronounced dead on the scene, and the 22-year-old is listed in stable condition after treatment at a local hospital, police said. Last month, after a shooting and a separate gun arrest in June, a group of residents from that area complained to police about that precise location, the area of Annunciation around General Taylor and Peniston, complaining that large crowds congregate on the block for gambling and drug transactions, with weapons on display in plain sight. “They’ve got guns,” said one neighbor at the July NONPACC meeting.
A large crowd of men who congregate on Annunciation Street playing dice and flashing guns at one another represent a growing problem that should be stopped before it becomes a tragedy, neighbors told Uptown-based Second District police Wednesday at their monthly community meeting. The activity is centered on a block of Annunciation near General Taylor and Peniston, where dozens of men will gather in broad daylight for what appear to be drug deals, looping around the block on bicycles with ample weapons on display, neighbors said. Residents have been calling police for whatever violations they see, but the men only disperse when the police car actually comes, and reappear when police leave, they said. “It’s amazing how organized they are. When a marked car comes, they just kind of disappear,” said one man at Wednesday’s meeting, who asked that his name not be printed to prevent any retaliation.
Two more armed robberies were reported in the Milan and Irish Channel neighborhoods Tuesday night, but investigators believe they are nearing arrests in several of the more than 30 muggings in Uptown New Orleans over the last month. Around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, a man was walking home from a fast-food restaurant on Louisiana Avenue when he noticed a group of kids watching him from a house near Loyola Avenue, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District persons-crimes division. He turned down Loyola and noticed a teen following him for several blocks, and as the teen drew nearer, he turned around to confront him, but the teenager lifted his shirt and showed a gun in his waistband, Billiot said at Wednesday’s meeting of the Second District leadership. The man took off running and as he looked behind him, he saw the teen now pointing the gun at him and demanding his money, so he threw his wallet in the air and kept running, Billiot said.
Arrests made in a sprawling weekend gun battle and police assurances that their investigations into the violence remain active brought little comfort Wednesday night to Irish Channel residents, who say the sound of gunfire still occurs all too frequently in their neighborhood.
A man who allegedly used Craigslist to solicit thousands of dollars in security deposits from prospective tenants for an Irish Channel apartment he didn’t own has been arrested on a number of theft charges, police said this week. Brett Greene, 31, was a former tenant an apartment in the 3300 block of Annunciation Street, but after he stopped living there, posted an advertisement for it on Craigslist with several photos, said Sgt. Sabrina Richardson of the NOPD Sixth District property-crimes division. Without actually showing them the apartment, Greene convinced people in at least nine separate cases to send him security deposits, and detectives have identified $4,000 in checks to him so far, Richardson said. The victims of the scam should have done a little more research, Richardson said, before sending checks to someone they didn’t know for an apartment they hadn’t been inside.
A woman was critically wounded in a gun battle in Hollygrove and a man was shot during an apparent robbery attempt caught on video outside a Lower Garden District bar in separate incidents Tuesday night, continuing the wave of bloodshed and violence across Uptown New Orleans since the weekend. In the Hollygrove shooting, the victim was unintentionally caught in the crossfire during a gunfight between her brother and another man, said Sgt. Shaun Ferguson of the NOPD Second District persons-crimes division. She, her husband and her brother were all walking near Hollygrove and Palmer streets Tuesday evening when her brother called a woman he knew, Ferguson said. The woman’s boyfriend, Kalumba Cheneau, became angry about the call, and he and the brother exchanged words about it over the phone, Ferguson said.