NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – An apparent late-night shootout in a New Orleans neighborhood prompted people nearby to rush for cover, with residents describing a scene in which they said more than 70 “assault rifle” shots were fired.
It happened Wednesday night, in the same neighborhood where three people were shot dead in March. New Orleans police later arrested 18-year-old Tyrone Steele for murder.
The video shows the shooting, which in total lasted about 25 seconds. Neighbors describe a chaotic scene for the duration of the apparent gun battle.
“You usually hear two gunshots here and there… No. It didn’t stop,” said a neighbor, whose identity was hidden by FOX 8. “It was terrifying. When more than 70 assault rifle rounds ring down my blocks, making my neighbors jump on their kids and wonder what’s going on, I don’t understand at what point something will change.”
The neighbour, who has lived in the area for nearly five years, said the violence had gotten worse, leaving her and her neighbors living in fear.
“How often do we have to call the EMS service of our neighbors?” She asked. “We have a very tight-knit group of neighbours. We talk all the time, have each other’s backs, and do what we can. We turn up the lights where we can. We put a crime cam in the neighborhood.”
She said the violence stemmed from people lounging in the building, around a nearby apartment complex between Encampment and Davey Street.
The district is bordered by Bayou St. John’s to the west, Harrison Avenue to the north and McDonough 35 High School to the south.
“I love my house,” she said, “but I don’t like what we’re dealing with right now.” “I’ve seen the violence in my neighborhood increase steadily and more rapidly since the triple murder.”
FOX 8 contacted the owner who owns the pool, Lloyd Villavasso. Next week, he said, cameras will be raised in all six buildings in the complex, and floodlights for parking lots will be installed.
While tenants are not allowed to have guests in their apartment, it is up to neighbors to call the police when they see people hanging out in their apartment who don’t belong to them, Villavaso said.
“The tenants will not approach these people, and I cannot blame them,” Villavaso said. “But what I’ve asked them to do is call the police when they see them, and if the police are there, maybe they stop coming there.”
He said it was not his tenants who were bringing trouble to the neighborhood.
“It’s not the tenants who let people in, it’s just people coming onto the property,” he said. “I mean, these people are not going to go near these people, which is why I asked them to call the police about these people, and have the police come and get them out.”
Council member Eugene Green, who represents this area, said pest and crime are two issues constantly raised by people who live in the area.
“It is a shame that the residents of this area and the apartment complex as well as the people who live nearby suffer from this kind of activity,” Green said. “There are no excuses as to what we saw. It is an irresponsible act and a ‘riot,’ to be very honest with you, and we will do something about it.”
Greene said his office would press for the demolition of another vacant property nearby, between Encompant and Cadillac Streets. The property is not owned by Villavasso, but it is so dilapidated and neglected that he believes it is attracting the “wrong element”.
Villavaso said he supports the demolition of the property.
“They shouldn’t live in conditions where they fear the kind of activity you saw in this video,” Green said.
The neighbor said she didn’t understand why there was no action against tenants who she thought had let people hang out outside.
“I don’t have a problem with people who rent, I don’t have a problem with Section 8. What I’m having is that the landlord doesn’t keep their property, and that allows tenants, and some tenants, to break the rules associated with that,” she said. For the same item or the same tenants to enter a particular item into that area, it puts us all at risk. I object to it.”
Villavaso said he doesn’t think his tenants are bringing trouble to the neighborhood.
“I mean, these people live there,” he said, “it’s hard to tell these people that you can’t have a guest.” “But from talking to my boss who is there on a permanent basis, it’s not the people I invite, they just come to hang out.”
NOPD says there were two victims in Wednesday night’s shooting and both reported their injuries. No deaths were reported.
Do you see a spelling or grammatical error in our story? click here to report it. Please include the address.
Copyright 2022 WVUE. All rights reserved.