A man killed on the edge of Gert Town on Monday was exercising at a gym when he was shot to death inside the facility, New Orleans police said Tuesday.
The New Orleans Coroner's Office has identified the victim as 33-year-old Christopher Mercadel, but investigators haven't released any details about a suspect or motive in the slaying, which occurred at Aaaarchitect Institute in the 3900 block of Howard Avenue.
According to investigators, the killer came into the gym about 5:20 p.m. wielding a gun and shot Mercadel multiple times. The gunman fled, and Mercadel was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.
A law enforcement source briefed on the case said Tuesday that Mercadel's killer was wearing a mask, suggesting the attack was planned. Attempts to contact the business owner were not successful.
Mercadel — whose last name is spelled Mercadal in many public records — promoted music concerts through a company he owned called Big Merk Promotions, according to his longtime friend, Mohammad Musa.
Musa, who grew up with Mercadel in Harvey, said his friend was a regular at Aaaarchitect Institute.
Mercadel also packed his Instagram account with pictures of himself and his daughter on the playground, trick-or-treating and doing other activities, Musa said.
"He's a great guy — the last person I expected something like this would happen to," Musa said. "I was in shock."
The killing was one of two shootings reported Monday. Less than three hours after Mercadel was gunned down, a 17-year-old boy was shot as he stepped out of a store on the corner of Simon Bolivar Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Central City.
Police have not indicated that the two attacks are related.
Anyone with information about either case can call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Tipsters do not have to identify themselves and could be eligible for a cash reward.
A man was fatally shot on the edge of Gert Town early Monday evening, New Orleans police said.