A 50-year-old man was shot to death Friday night in New Orleans East, and New Orleans police say his 40-year-old wife fired the weapon.
The man, identified as Steven Swanson, was shot multiple times about 8 p.m. Friday in the 5000 block of Coronado Drive, said Officer Frank Robertson, a spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department. Swanson died at a hospital.
The shooting happened after a domestic dispute, Robertson said in a news release.
He said Swanson and his wife got into an argument and he refused to let her leave. The wife and her children were going to get into her vehicle when the husband tried to hit them with his truck, Robertson said. She then shot him.
“It all happened so fast,” neighbor Ashley Armstrong, a 30-year-old homemaker, said Saturday.
Armstrong said she thinks the altercation started inside but quickly moved out to the front yard and driveway.
“She was inside, screaming,” Armstrong said, adding that after Swanson’s wife shot him outside, she ran across the street to another neighbor’s house to call 911. “He was laying outside on the grass, and she was saying, ‘I couldn’t get him off of me, I had to get him off of me.’ ”
While she said she had never heard the couple fight before, Armstrong and her husband painted a picture of marital unhappiness involving other women and a history of physical violence.
Swanson had gained a reputation in the neighborhood for “beating women,” she said, adding that on at least one occasion she had seen him fight with a strange woman outside his house.
“He had been involved with another lady, and she drove her car into his mailbox,” Armstrong said. “They had gotten into some sort of altercation.”
Swanson had “a lot of lady friends,” and his wife hadn’t been living at the house for several months, Armstrong added.
She said the wife had just moved back in earlier in the week.
“I guess they were trying to reconcile things,” Armstrong said. “It was all really sudden. ... I was thinking they were getting back together, trying to work things out. He seemed happier when she was there.”
Armstrong’s 35-year-old husband, Calvin Armstrong, added that Swanson mostly kept to himself.
“He was kind of a loner,” he said. “He didn’t really talk to people too much.”
Swanson’s wife is cooperating with detectives, Robertson said.