Moments after a man was shot to death on the front porch of a white shotgun house in Carrollton’s Pigeon Town neighborhood, a real estate agent arrived to show a customer a house around the corner.
“I didn’t see (the agent) very long,” neighbor Averill Lazard said. “They disappeared.”
The murder in the 1600 block of Gen. Ogden Street about 1:25 p.m. Monday took the life of a man, 37, and angered neighbors who said they had frequently complained to police about open drug-dealing on the street.
Through the open front door of her Green Street house, Lazard said she had heard six to eight shots. When police arrived, they found the man lying on a nearby porch, Officer Garry Flot said. The man was taken to the hospital, where he died.
To hear neighbors tell it, the trouble had begun long before. For years, they said, they have been complaining to the police about drug dealers taking over properties on the block.
Sitting on a porch around the corner, Lionel Patterson said he dreaded even taking his grandson across the street to buy a sno-ball because of all the drug trade.
Pointing to a boxer-pit bull mix named Sweetie Pie by her side, Lazard said she has chosen not to live in fear.
Both said they had regularly called the police to report crimes in the neighborhood.
When Patterson called the police about a man with a gun on the street, he said, it took them more than an hour to respond.
Lazard said that as the owner of a café in the French Market, she sees disparities in police response times in the city firsthand.
Between a heavy presence from state and local police and private patrols, when something happens in the French Quarter, “it’s like something fell out of the sky, they come there so fast,” she said.
“Just (imagine) that had been a white kid that had got shot,” Lazard said. “I see the difference in this city.”
Feet from where Patterson and Lazard discussed the police presence in the area, another neighbor stood in the street, remembering the man she believed was the victim of the murder. He was a friend, with five girls aged 3 to 15, she said, and she had seen him just the night before at a bar around the corner.
The two talked about old times.
“Just us growing up, stuff we used to do,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named. “Everyday stuff. Keeping us laughing.”
Now he had been killed, she said, like one of his sisters before him. The neighbor said he would be missed.
“Nobody deserves to get shot down like a dog,” she said.
Homicide Detective Ryan Vaught is investigating the murder and can be reached at (504) 658-5300.