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Man on moped shot and killed in the St. Claude neighborhood identified

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:36 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A man who was shot and killed just before 7 p.m. Wednesday night near the corner of Pauline St. and Marais St. has been identified.

Coroner Jason Melancon reports that Lawrence Wells, 38, died by gunshot Wednesday night.

“I’ve been thinking about it all day long,” one neighbor said.

Neighbors can’t scrub the image from their minds, the sidewalk is still stained.

“I had my back to that window and was walking away from it when it happened. If he had missed, I could have been hit a dog could have been hit,” said the neighbor whose home the shooting happened in front of.

Three gunshots grabbed her attention.

“I looked out the window saw the moped, looked outside because I thought somebody had an accident, and see this guy in front of my son’s house, which is two houses over, lying on the ground,” the neighbor said. “I don’t know how he made it off that moped up there, but that was probably his last act, you know, as a living person.”

NOPD says the man died later at the hospital from a single gunshot wound.

“He was coming up this way, going South on Pauline, and then he must have seen something that he didn’t think was great, and made a U-turn and came back down Pauline and got shot right where that white car is parked out there,” she described.

Neighbors tell us they think homes in the area may be connected to drug activity, something they feel has increased since the pandemic.

The night of the shooting, they say one home, in particular, had a lot of people buzzing around.

“I will skip a block or two that have a lot of needles on the ground or people have asked me before what I’m looking for and I say, like world peace or something like that,” one neighbor said of her walks through the neighborhood.

Shootings and homicides in the St. Claude neighborhood have remained relatively the same since last year according to city data, but carjackings have shot up 140% from five last year to 12 this year.

In July we talked with a grocery delivery driver who fired at her carjacker as he sped away on Pauline just two blocks away from this shooting.

“I have a bullet in the side of my house from a few months ago, this has been getting worse and worse,” she said. “I’m sick of being paranoid about going outside in the dark.”

“The people that I know are wonderful and all my interactions when I’m out walking the dog are super lovely and everybody chats, but there still is that feeling of who are the people with the guns,” the other neighbor said.

Multiple homes had cameras that caught the shooting along with a suspicious car that circled the scene but did not feel comfortable sharing the videos with anyone but police, which they have done.

NOPD homicide detectives are investigating.

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