Violence in Lower Garden District leaves business owners and residents worried

Violence in Lower Garden District leaves business owners and residents worried
FOX 8 Photo

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A shooting in the Lower Garden District early Saturday morning left one person in the hospital.

"It was all in sequence though like boom boom boom boom boom," says Brandy Reynolds.

Reynolds says she was outside her house smoking around 2 a.m.

"I counted what I thought was nine shots. Like I listened to it and then like repeated it back."

Police said the victim was standing next to a vehicle in the 1100 block of St. Mary Street when a woman approached in another vehicle and fired several shots.

"We hear it so often here. Like you hear gunshots on a regular basis," says Reynolds.

Business owners and residents say it didn't use to be this way.

"We had never heard of anything going on in this neighborhood before. As a matter of fact, I worked at a shop right down the street. Never had any problems," says Needlework Vault Owner Sally Christovich.

Many raised concerns about violence on the block.

"I'm in this area all the time and I know there's always been some criminal activity particularly around St. Mary and Magazine here," says a man who did not want to be identified.

"At first, I thought well maybe it's just random stuff but not in the same neighborhood, in the same area, in the same block. Three times, that's not random," says Christovich.

This shooting happened right by another shooting last year at a clothing store where a stray bullet hit a hairstylist on Magazine Street.

The hair salon owner said they have lost around $300,000 since then.

The fatal shooting of former Saints player Will Smith also happened in the same area.

"It took place literally right here on Magazine St. So it's funny how many crimes have occurred right in this immediate area," says a passerby.

"Where are they coming from, and why are they doing it all in one spot?" asks Christovich.

Some shop owners are worried the crimes will hurt their businesses too.

"Most of our customers are older ladies. If they find out that there's a lot of stuff going on down here, they're going to stay away. That is definitely going to impact my business," Christovich said.

Residents FOX 8 spoke to in the area are worried about their safety.

"I'm walking home alone at night by myself at 11 o'clock and I worry. I go as fast as I can and I'm only three blocks away," says Reynolds.

While an NOPD camera is installed on that corner of St. Mary and Magazine streets, people in the area say they won't feel safe until there's greater police presence in the area.

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