NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans police arrested a 73-year-old homeowner after they said he opened fire on two men running from his property. On Wednesday afternoon the court found probable cause to charge Abraham Venson with aggravated battery. He is being held on $10,000 bond.
Just before 3 a.m. police responded to a shooting in the 1900 block of Gallier Street. They said Venson critically wounded one man, age 53, after he found the men in his garage. According to police, the shooting happened as the men were fleeing.
People who live near Venson in the Upper Ninth Ward are angry that he's been arrested for allegedly trying to protect his property.
"It is pretty wrong for someone to think they can just break into your house and nothing is going to happen," said one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified.
"Unfortunately, it happened to a good neighbor," resident Kevin Veal added.
"If they're running away, and don't appear to be posing a threat to you, you can't shoot them," FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti said.
Neighbors said they have an idea why Venson may have been targeted. They said he had just purchased a new riding lawnmower, and was meticulous about taking care of his yard.
"It's very sad that this old man is now sitting in jail because he was trying to protect what was his," a neighbor said.
Some who live on the street said this isn't the first time Venson's garage has been broken into. They think he may have just been fed up.
"This is going to be a very tough prosecution if it ever gets that far. There's a lot of sympathy that would be paid out to this man," Raspanti said.