Sharon Lawrence looked at the Central City stoop where two young members of her family and a third person had been wounded by gunfire just an hour earlier and started talking about leaving the city for good.
“I don’t know what it’s going to take to stop this,” Lawrence said. “This (happens) every day here in New Orleans, and you get tired of it.”
Police said Wednesday’s shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m. in the 2200 block of Philip Street after some type of verbal altercation.
One of Lawrence’s great-nephews was shot in the abdomen, another in the leg. A woman who was sitting with them was grazed. All three victims were in stable condition at the hospital, according to police.
Sixth District Cmdr. Ronnie Stevens said during a meeting later in the day that Ernest Smith, 19, had been identified as a suspect. Police obtained a warrant for his arrest on four counts of attempted murder — one for each of the victims, and the fourth for a young child who also was outside but was not injured.
All three victims were in their late teens or early 20s, according to people on the scene who identified themselves as relatives.
One neighbor said one of the victims seemed badly wounded and “wasn’t moving at all” after the shooting.
About seven or eight people were inside the house at the time, the youngest of them just 3 years old, Lawrence said.
She said she believed her great-nephews knew the man who shot them.
Lawrence, 58, said the shooting brought back memories of the time years ago when another of her relatives was killed during a robbery at Felicity and Magnolia streets.
After Hurricane Katrina, Lawrence said, she thought the city would come together, but instead things seemed to get worse. She said she would be leaving Thursday to go somewhere out west, maybe Utah or Oregon.