[Update: After a small email flurry, Councilmember Stacy Head has offered to convene a Lower Garden District meeting “at which time we can discuss a variety of quality of life issues affecting the area.” Councilmember Fielkow (fellow Wisconsin alum) has promised to attend as well.]
Arrived home at 5:45PM to hear four crystal-clear gun shots at the corner of Magazine & Race streets. My front door is not right on Magazine St., which prevented me from seeing anything, and my first instinct was to shut the door, lock it and call D and my neighbor. (Only to find out that our AC was out thanks to the lightning.) From the front window I saw nothing and, then a couple of minutes later, people milling outside Mojo Coffeehouse pointing at St. Vincent’s Guest House. Within a few more minutes, an NOPD cruiser and an ambulance were parked at the intersection, and a large black man was pulled out of the guest house on a stretcher. Good response time.
Since returning to town in early 2006, I’ve seen squad cars, with lights on and sirens blaring, at that joint almost everyday. Young, old, men and women are lined up for questioning, thrown out for makeshift meth labs and drug dealing and taken away after overdosing, but never have I observed someone carried out on a stretcher there following a shooting. Again, I’ve only somewhat freaked out about increased criminal activity in my neighborhood since people began to trickle back into the post-K city – drug deals on my block, D’s car’s hubcaps, mail and packages stolen, etc. – because there is a lot worse going on all over this city. Yet, there are few things quite as jarring and visceral as hearing the sequential firing of a gun not a hundred yards away from you.
Standing outside with a lot of nervous energy, I called Brian Denzer and blathered at him non-stop for about five minutes, while he calmly listened. “Hope this makes the blotter … please record it for your crime map … is there a way to indicate hotspots on the map … I’m gonna write Stacy Head right now … sick of walking by that place all the time and being scared out of my wits … ” Brian advised me to talk to call the Captain over at Sixth District and discuss with him all I’ve observed about St. Vincent’s in the last year and also to find out who owns the property (one Peter Schreiber – can someone let him know I’d like a word with him?).
So, yeah, after standing in the rain for 30 minutes waiting for the Magazine St. bus (downtown traffic was all farkakte thanks to the first Saints home game), no AC and a shooting at St. Vincent’s this evening, you can say I’m looking forward to a long weekend of doing absolutely nothing.
We have an empty bedroom, we like gumbo and we like D. Whenever you have had enough.
:( That’s so scary.
Why do you have to “hope” it makes the blotter?
Moderately crappy crime reporting on the police’s part in this town. Their crime map is not as good as the one made by citizen volunteers.
Ugh. Feel free to be freaked. Happened once by my apartment in Boston’s South End: I was on the couch in the bay window (parlor floor apartment, just off the street) watching a movie on a weekend afternoon (“Ready to Wear” – I still remember I clearly) and heard gunshots behind me. It was from the housing complex across the street. I rolled off the couch onto the floor and lay down there for about ten minutes. It’s a very surreal experience.
Same thing happend near my house in DC right after I moved in. I was at work; my neighbor, who worked from a home office, told me about it. “I heard gunshots, so I ran outside and down the alley in the direction they were coming from!” My reaction: “Wrong answer!” It was some kind of planned killing at the carwash on the block behind our houses. Middle of the afternoon execution style thing. Argh.
Statistically, most murders are people who know each other killing each other, and we can all reassure ourselves that nobody we know is going to kill us. But there’s nothing to shake that feeling of security like having it happen near you. Give yourself a long-distance hug from Houston and you two take care of yourselves.
My only concern is what poor shots these criminals can be, and the possibility of an innocent bystander losing his/her life.
I heard shots a block away from my place on Tuesday morning. Nothing made the news. We still have no idea what happened.
I can tell our next door neighbor to let you into our house for some dog and cat therapy, if need be.
Very scary…stay safe!
Stay safe. Now I know how “farkakte” is spelled.
I had a friend who once worked for Peter Schreiber. When I told this friend 6 months about the goings on at St. Vincent’s, he wasn’t surprised in the least and said “Peter is a dirt bag”. Or maybe he said “scum of the earth”; you get the point. You and your neighbors need to band together to make him clean up the place or shut him down. Talk to Stacey Head about the place, she probably already knows but she can suggestion some ideas to take action. And talk to the 6th Dist. police too. Good luck!
A significant part of the problem is that the NOPD seems to think that transparency is a feeling, not an activity. Times-Picayune reporters whom I’ve talked to universally complain that the NOPD isn’t forthcoming with crime information, so they dig up what they can from — as best I can tell — a police scanner, and walking into the records room to ask for major crimes. Note the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office provides a constant stream of information that gets published in the TP. For all of the criticism Harry Lee takes for moving his lips without thinking about the repercussions (and other less reported issues), he at least tells people what’s happening. Hell, he uses the issue of crime as a political weapon for his own benefit. Why is it, then, that we don’t hear anything about crime patterns in New Orleans until someone innocent gets “caught in the crossfire.” Without a free flow of information, citizens, reporters, and researchers, can’t make the connections to understand when things are getting out of hand. The recent murders of immigrants in New Orleans East? It sure would be nice to know what patterns of burglaries and armed robberies were happening there before the murders occurred. So someone gets killed. Now Riley responds by sending in additional patrols. Could we have skipped the part where people had to die for there to be the realization that a tactical response needed to find the perpetrators before they turned violent? That’s the way it used to be done.
You don’t know me but I feel for you. Years ago I worked for Peter Schreiber. He shouldn’t be too hard to find. When I worked there, he was there every morning until noon. As part of my job I had to phone police to kick out dangerous guests ( I am a young woman. I worked alone at night) Peter is a very difficult person with a lot of problems. He is the last person that would try and make a safer neighbourhood. I wish you luck!