NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A bouquet of flowers and balloons sits outside of a home on the 1200 block of Sumner Street, where 63-year-old Kenneth Faggin took his last breath. His family, beside themselves in grief after learning he was gunned down on Friday.
“He was a sweet, loving and caring person, and whoever did this has to be a cruel person,” said Mondise Martin, Faggin’s daughter.
“When they took him, they took me. I still got a hole in my heart right now. I’m in so much pain,” said Faggin’s brother, Kevin.
Faggin, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, was the first of four people murdered in Algiers over the weekend.
A man and a woman were gunned down in two separate shootings – one on Friday and one on Saturday – on Cobblestone Lane near the Oakmont Apartment complex.
Another man was shot and killed on the 3700 block of Herschel Street Saturday morning.
“When you see four occur in that weekend, the question becomes were those totally random or are those different factions that are feuding with one another?” said Rafael Goyeneche, President of New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Goyeneche says the ongoing staffing shortage with the New Orleans Police Department plays a major role in this uptick in violence.
“As the number of officers continues to decline, it makes it more difficult for the police department to just respond for calls to service,” said Goyeneche.
Another shooting happened Friday at the intersection of Lamarque and Belleville Streets in the same three-mile radius as the four fatal shootings, leaving a 27-year-old man injured.
Neighbors say the violence is putting the lives of innocent people in jeopardy.
“The house, the very house where the shootings took place, each unit in the house has children in it,” said Algiers resident Ramona Ragas.
As police continue to investigate the shootings, Faggin’s family is wishing they just had one more day to tell him how much he meant to them.
“I’d tell him I love him, I’m sorry this happened to him, and I just wish he was here,” said Martin.
Right now, police say there’s no indication that any of the shootings are connected.
We reached out to Councilman Freddie King III for a statement about the recent violence in his district, he provided us with the following statement:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims who have been affected by the senseless shootings in Algiers over the past 48 hours.
“I’ve been very vocal about tackling violent crime head on so that our residents are no longer plagued by fear. I’ve spoken about the need to improve recruitment, retention and response time within the NOPD but more importantly, I’ve stressed the need to connect with our youth to address the high school drop out rate and offer real career opportunities.
“Just this past week, I hosted a Career Fair along with local universities and business owners with 400 high school students in attendance. We also partnered with STEM NOLA in Algiers with hundreds of children in attendance. I recently spoke at LB Landry’s Career Day.
“I’ve also met with staff and students at the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center. I’ve made it a priority to engage our youth because it matters to me that they know that there are opportunities here in the City of New Orleans for them. We need to continue to think outside of the box to offer real solutions to the problem.“Councilman Freddie King III