LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS - A man shot in a chilling carjacking Uptown remained in the hospital Thursday. The crime shocked a quiet community at Camp and Delachaise Tuesday night.

Neighbors said one of the city's basic crime deterrents wasn't working.

'I heard yelling and I heard three or four 'pow, pow' gun shots,' said Melissa Mahony, who has lived across the street from the spot where the shooting happened for about two and a half years.

Police said gunmen shot a man twice in the chest, before stealing his Cadillac Escalade, which, at last check, police had not found.

Just as unnerving, Mahony said, the street light above the crime scene was off at the time.

'It's scary that they're not doing the things they need to do to keep everyone safe,' said Mahony.

Neighbors said the light had not been working for years, but Eyewitness News found that it was working Thursday night.

Jean Gill, who owns the four-plex across the street, said she has repeatedly asked the city to fix the broken light.

'It shouldn't come to this in any neighborhood,' said Gill. 'This is a very basic requirement for a safe city and something that needs to be addressed as the mayor has promised us.'

The city said another light near the crime scene is one of more than 8,000 reported faulty streetlights throughout the city as of Sept. 26. And until crews finish assessing damage from Hurricane Isaac, officials can't be sure every light will be fixed by the end of the year, as Mayor Mitch Landrieu promised in May.

'Hurricane Isaac really kind of changed everything. It's a new game now,' said Lt. Col. Mark Jernigan, public works director for the city of New Orleans.

More than $6 million in one-time federal grant money remains to fix street lights, said the city. But City Council President Stacy Head believes initial budgetary issues put the city behind the curve.

'We should have been much further along, if we had had the fulfillment of those promises that we had had in that document that was provided to us in the 2012 budget,' said Head. 'I am disappointed that it's not happening in the time frame that was promised to us under that budget document and all that testimony we received last year.'

Head said the council heard multiple testimonials that the city needed $3.2 million to fix street lights for the 2012 budget year, and the City Council approved that number. But the city initially allotted $1.84 million from the city's general fund instead, before Landrieu announced an additional $8 million in in Disaster Community Development Block Grants would be used to repair street lights in May.

'That was of course troubling, that was counter to all the documents we had received and the testimony we had received,' said Head.

Meanwhile, neighbors hope the city continues to sure streets are well lit to help prevent tragedies before they happen.

A city spokesman said crews were on schedule to fix all lights by the end of the year before Isaac hit.

Starting next week, it will increase the number of crews working from 11 to 15, working 13-hour days six days a week. They expect to complete assessments of damage from Isaac by Oct. 15.

If you have an outage in your neighborhood, you're asked to call 311.

Meanwhile, police are still searching for the men involved in the shooting and carjacking, and are working to see if they are connected to other crimes in the area Tuesday night.

If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/2014/09/03/14550646/