Justice didn’t bark early Thursday morning.
The tough-looking Rottweiler made no sound when a man was shot to death behind a nearby house in the 2000 block of St. Anthony Street in the 7th Ward about 1:30 a.m., according to the dog’s owner.
Justice’s owner, who declined to give his name, said the animal has been getting quieter and quieter since a companion dog died. But the man said he heard a single muffled gunshot, followed by a two-minute pause, then three more gunshots.
“Do you think I should go out there?” the man said he asked his wife next to him in bed. He decided not to, he said, because “I didn’t hear my dog barking or nothing.”
Authorities have not released the victim’s name, but they said his body was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the backyard of a double shotgun house.
Another canine arrived on the scene later Thursday morning. About 9:30 a.m., a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Labrador named Ting sniffed through a grassy lot next door to where the man died, hunting for shell casings.
Neighbors said they regularly hear gunshots and live in fear of becoming victims of crime themselves.
Two other nearby residents declined to give their names to a reporter, citing the fear of retribution.
One neighbor said the victim of the shooting was a young man who had moved into the house behind which he was shot about a month ago and that he lived there with a girlfriend.
“That child is gone,” the neighbor said. “It’s just so sad that people are taking our children like that.”
On April 10, 31-year-old Bryant Brastfield was shot a few blocks away near North Roman and Allen streets, another location dominated by the steady din of traffic on Interstate 10.