Rolanda Ragas peered past the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” yard sign on her mother’s front porch on Wednesday afternoon and lamented the state of the 1200 block of Belleville Street. She grew up there and is living there for now. But she will move back to Gretna as fast as she can.
“First chance I get,” said Ragas, “I’m gone”
New Orleans police said a 45-year-old man was shot and killed on the Algiers street at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Several neighbors said they heard around five shots. When officers arrived to the scene, police said, the victim was found lying in the street. He was taken to a hospital and then pronounced dead.
Another neighbor who declined to give her name said that as she opened her door after the shooting, she saw the tail-lights of a vehicle fleeing south. Authorities are withholding the victim’s name until they notify his family members.
Ragas recounted how last year someone shot through the front windshield of her mother’s car. She also pointed to a bullet hole in her next-door neighbor’s house, that one from a separate shooting incident. How could she let her children out of the house on a street like this?
“People ride through this block and shoot,” she said. “It’s aggravating.”
Ragas said she grew up with Stephen Mosley, who was shot dead after mowing his lawn around the corner in the 1100 block of Vallette Street on Sept. 13.
She did not know the name of the latest man to share Mosley’s fate, the 156th homicide victim recorded this year in New Orleans. But she knew he was one too many.
“It’s just sad that it’s an ongoing, revolving door,” she said. “Once again, it’s a person dead.”
Homicide Detective Theo Kent is investigating the shooting and can be reached at (504) 658-5300.