Hazel Bradford lay frozen on the floor Sunday morning, terrified for her nearby grandchildren.
Her Yorkshire terrier, Cash, bayed furiously as gunshots popped on a Violet street and a bleeding man ripped through her screen porch and flung himself against the front door.
Unable to get in, he staggered toward the sidewalk, where he collapsed.
“Lord, a man dead in my yard,” she said Monday. “I’m afraid because they haven’t found the killer yet.”
The first murder of 2014 in St. Bernard Parish startled residents of a normally quiet Violet street while leaving the family of the victim, 27-year-old Broderick Parker, devastated.
Authorities are still searching for the shooter and have yet to name a suspect, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff James Pohlman said Parker was shot multiple times about 6:30 a.m. in the 2300 block of Licciardi Lane.
He was later pronounced dead at Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans.
The Sheriff’s Office declined to provide additional details of the investigation, but Parker’s mother, Lanell Parker, said detectives told her that Broderick Parker declared before he died that an acquaintance had killed him.
Lanell Parker said the beef between her son and the man, whom she knows, was long-standing.
She said the man had recently harassed her about giving him a prescription opiate called Tramadol.
She said the man also owed her son money from a card game.
“Broderick had told him if he didn’t pay, he was going to beat the (expletive) out of him,” she said.
She said the man had brandished a gun in front of her the evening before her son was shot.
“I think he was just waiting for a perfect time to kill him,” Parker said.
Parker characterized her son as a dedicated father of one, who worked alongside her at the Lafitte Frozen Foods Corp. plant in Violet.
She said Parker was on probation at the time of his killing but was turning his life around.
According to Lanell Parker, her son’s child had recently been taken into state custody, but she said he was taking parenting and substance-abuse classes in an attempt to bring the child home.
As friends and family members attempted to comfort her, Lanell Parker was overwhelmed by retelling the details of her son’s death, at one point vomiting in her front yard.
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t have anything, no insurance, nothing,” she said.
Hope Hatcher, a friend of Broderick Parker’s, tended to a small memorial of a few flowers and two balloons that had been placed at the scene of the killing.
She said she lived on the street where Parker was shot and wished her friend had come to her door while he was under fire.
“I could have saved his life or at least tried,” she said, describing Parker as “a good dude who didn’t bother a soul.”
Hatcher said the street where Parker was killed is typically a sleepy one where violence is rare.
There was a noticeable presence of sheriff’s deputies in the area Monday, though a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office said no additional patrols had been ordered since the shooting.
St. Bernard Parish had four murders last year, at least two of which occurred in Violet and were related, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The killings both happened in late October in the 3100 and 3200 block of Daniel Drive, which is less than a mile from Sunday’s murder.
Suspects were arrested in both of the slayings.