NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans police are investigating a shooting in Mid-City that claimed the life of one man. The incident occurred Sunday at 2:22 p.m. in the 3800 block of D'Hemecourt Street.
Family members identified the man as Joe Smith, 39.
Witnesses said Smith was at a nearby car wash on Ulloa, where he worked when someone started chasing him down Cortez toward D'Hemecourt.
"He ran from the car wash all the way to D'Hemecourt and into the alley and the dude shot him in the back and that's where he collapsed at," a woman on the scene, who did not want to be identified, said.
Smith's cousin, Trinity Smith, said his cousin was a family man with children.
"Really tough way to start the year, real tough way to lose family you know. That's not an easy task to take on and then you're celebrating stepping out of something old into something new and the first moment you do that you're faced with murder, you're faced with death," Smith said.
Residents in the quiet neighborhood said they heard the shots but initially discounted them as fireworks.
"All afternoon we've been hearing fireworks and shots going off. I probably did hear it, just thought of it as more of the noise we hear on New Year's Day, unfortunately," Susan Hesson, who lives nearby, said.
If you have any information that could help police with this case you are asked to call the NOPD Homicide Division at 504-658-5300 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.