A father of five was shot to death Sunday afternoon after mowing the lawn in front of his house in an Algiers neighborhood, according to the victim’s family and New Orleans police.
Officers arrived in the 1100 block of Vallette Street about 12:15 p.m. to find the 33-year-old man fatally shot, lying in his own blood in the front yard of the house.
As news spread through the neighborhood, shaken residents gathered on the street to comfort the man’s grieving family.
Small children in diapers sat on a parked car just outside the police tape sectioning off the area where officers were busy gathering ballistics and interviewing neighbors.
The victim’s uncle and father paced between the police and the children, while other family members stood huddled at a nearby corner, crying into one another’s shoulders.
“He always took good care of his kids,” said Joseph Williams, the victim’s uncle, as he stood near police behind the yellow caution tape, shaking his head. “He had just finished cutting the grass.”
Williams described his nephew as a hard-working cook who left behind two brothers, three sisters, his parents and a stepfather, in addition to his children.
When asked what could have prompted someone to gun him down, Williams responded, “I couldn’t answer that.”
As he talked, bystanders, some of whom knew the victim from the neighborhood, nervously smoked cigarettes and cursed the city’s violence while the Rev. Raynard Casimier, a pastor of the Love Outreach Christian Church, knocked on doors to offer information and condolences.
“Nothing like this has happened in a long time, in broad daylight like this,” Casimier said solemnly.
The incident was tragic, he added, but he felt optimistic that justice would be done.
“They’re going to catch who did it,” Casimier said as he talked to a neighbor, explaining that the man had cameras set up to monitor the front of his house. “The whole incident was caught on video.”