Elderly resident reacts to stabbing death of longtime friend - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Elderly resident reacts to stabbing death of longtime friend

The scene of the killing on Bienville Street. The scene of the killing on Bienville Street.

People who live in one Mid-City neighborhood struggle with the news of a neighbor's violent death.

New Orleans police have released few details so far, but they say somebody stabbed a 61-year-old man inside his home.  The murder happened only a few blocks from the busy intersection of Jeff Davis Pkwy. and Bienville Street.

Police say the 61-year-old victim was found stabbed to death inside his apartment in the 3200 block of Bienville. His body was found around 1:30 Thursday afternoon.

"Every time he gets ready to go to the store or something, he said wait a minute, he goes to the mailbox, first thing he do. I said, man you must be waiting for a big check or something the way you run to that box," said the victim's friend, 77-year-old Herbert Harris.

Harris thinks back on the times spent with a friend he says he knew for nearly 60 years. Now, he sits in disbelief on the porch next door to where his friend lived.

"I see all the police here and then somebody was just telling me what happened, they said they found my friend in there dead, stabbed in the head," said Harris.

Every day for years, Harris says, he would ride his bike to his friend's home, sit back with him and reminisce.

"Man, it's hard to believe... Just talked to the guy. This would never come to your mind, and the next day, you come here and you get news like this here," said Harris.

On the quiet Mid-City street, many neighbors are trying to understand why someone would try to hurt a man they say had no enemies.

"I never really seen him with nobody, never seen nobody come from back there but him, so if anybody had any problems with him, I didn't know anything about it," said neighbor Lawrence Smith.

"Quiet, peaceful, it's mostly all families and everything, children, stuff like that," said neighbor Walter Parker. "You never hear any problems in this neighborhood, at all."

"I can't understand how this could happen.  I can't see anybody, as far as I know, that would want something like this to happen to him," said Harris.

"That's the hardest part about living in New Orleans, when you think nothing bad can happen... two blocks away, you have a gentlemen lose his life," said Brian Skidmore.

Skidmore, who lives a block away, says he and his wife have noticed vagrants around the victim's home.

"And if they went inside, you'll probably notice that some people have been squatting there, over here.  May have been an issue or two, but normally here everything is as quiet for a major thoroughfare in New Orleans as you can have," said Skidmore.

Now, a friend who sits in shock over a sudden death hopes for justice.

"We always hope the person come to justice.  I don't know if that will give me closure or not.  It ain't going to bring your partner back one way or another, you know," said Harris.

New Orleans police have yet to release the victim's name.  Harris says the man has a son who lives in Baton Rouge and a wife in Texas.

If you know anything that will help investigators with the case, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 504-822-1111.

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