Neighborhood watch captain shot, found dead in Metairie home

Jerrel Oster (photo from Facebook)
Jerrel Oster (photo from Facebook)
Oster's residence on Jean Street, Metairie
Oster's residence on Jean Street, Metairie

Metairie, La. - Homeowners first thought it was a tragic accident, perhaps a medical condition that claimed their neighbor's life.

"That's what we were told yesterday and then we saw the crime scene people, and so it kind of got me a little worried," says neighbor Michelle Kalogeropoulous Thursday.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's investigators now say 39-year-old Jerrel Oster was shot to death.

Police tape still surrounded the home on Jean Street Thursday night as detectives returned to look for more evidence.

Her husband told detectives he left for work Wednesday morning and when he came back around 12:30, he found Oster slumped over on the sofa. Neil Oster says he called 911 and tried to perform CPR, but paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Detectives questioned the husband and released him Wednesday night.

"We're gonna miss her because she was definitely active in our neighborhood," says Tammy Montefort. "She cared about everybody in this neighborhood."

Montefort says Oster started the neighborhood watch program here several years ago after someone broke into her backyard shed.  "That's when she started getting active in the neighborhood," says Montefort. "She got everybody from that end of the street to this end of the street all involved in it."

Now neighbors are rattled as detectives try to figure out who could have killed Oster.

Everyone describes it as a quiet street where there are rarely even break-ins, let alone deadly crimes.

"Just totally freaking out, not knowing really what is going on," says Kalogeropoulous. "Really wanting to know the truth. Is it really just a domestic thing or did somebody break into their home? We don't know that yet so yeah, I'm kind of terrified at this point."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.