The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was found dead behind New Divine Outreach Ministry at 2800 Milan Street, on the corner of Milan and Clara streets. Police did not immediately reveal a suspect or motive in the slaying.
The church did not appear to be occupied when the shooting occurred around 1:48 p.m., but a neighbor said worshipers usually gather at the hall on Wednesdays and Sundays. The church’s pastor, Bishop T.M. Lambert, could not be reached for comment.
Home construction less than half a block away produced loud noise throughout the afternoon, particularly from a compressor and nail gun, preventing many who were home in the neighborhood from hearing gunfire.
“I was in my kitchen, and I didn’t hear nothing,” said a woman who lives across the street from the church and asked that her name not be disclosed. “It wasn’t until my daughter came in and said, ‘Mama, there’s police all over outside here,’ that I even knew what was happening. I’ve been in this home since 2008, and I haven’t had any problems here until this.”
At another house nearby, a mother and her adult son also spoke under condition of anonymity, fearing possible retaliation. The son said he saw a man in a gray, short-sleeved shirt go behind the church with a woman wearing a black and white dress. He said they went to a back corner of the yard, huddling together over what he assumed to be a drug transaction.
“To me, it wasn’t worth calling the police about,” he said. “I figured by the time they got here, they’d already be gone.”
The man said he went back inside, but moments later his mother came out on the front porch with her granddaughter. She said she saw the same woman, this time carrying a turquoise blue umbrella and accompanied by a man she thought was wearing a green shirt. All appeared to be in their early to mid-20s, she said.
She watched them go behind the church, she said.
“Seconds later, I hear about five shots,” she said. “I picked up the baby and ran inside. I didn’t see who came out.”
Source: NOLA.com | Ken Daley | The Times-Picayune