Neighbors react after Manchester man shot in Orange Street apartment
MANCHESTER — A young man was shot in the face when he opened the door to his Orange Street apartment Friday morning, then stumbled down the hallway and collapsed on his front steps while calling for help, neighbors said.
"Please hurry ... ," several neighbors said they heard the youth say over his cell phone as he lay bleeding outside the first-floor 145 Orange St. apartment shortly before 6:30 a.m.
The man, described as a 20-year-old African-American, is identified as Terrence Jackson. But he is also known in the neighborhood as Shawn and best known by his nickname, "Big," for his 300-pound frame.
Police said the shooting victim was out of surgery by early evening and is expected to survive. Investigators were waiting to speak with him Friday night.
Police said no one was in custody and had no suspects Friday night. They said they could not comment on motive and the investigation is active.
Neighbors said the area is a hotbed for illicit drug activity.
"All you got to do is sit on these stairs for 20 minutes and you know what's going on," said a female neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity because she said she feared for her safety.
Neighbors described a constant stream of visitors coming and going to the first-floor apartment and frequent fights on the street.
The apartment where the shooting occurred is leased to Tony Watkins, who has been in New York for about three weeks visiting family, neighbor Travis Lemay, 25, said.
Jackson had been living in the apartment across the street when he had a "falling out" with his roommate and moved into Watkins' apartment about three weeks ago, neighbors said.
After the shooting, police warned Jackson's former roommate his safety was in jeopardy, according to Lemay and several other neighbors.
"The cops came over to check on him. He said they told him 'I should be in fear of my life,'" another neighbor said on condition of anonymity because he also feared retribution.
An upstairs neighbor described the shooting victim as polite and helpful.
Valerie Fontaine said she heard someone threatening him Wednesday."I heard a couple of young guys downstairs arguing. To me, it sounded like they were threatening him," she added.
Fontaine, who moved in about three months ago, said she is afraid to live in the building.
"I'm friggin' freaking out," she said. "I feel like I've moved into the apartment at the corner of hell town and murder city."
Fontaine said she was already unnerved when she recently learned Jackson was living in the same apartment where convicted killer and Czech national Vaclav Plch stabbed Manchester mother Mary Stetson, 40, to death and dismembered her body in July 1999.
"That apartment has been jinxed," said the male neighbor who refused to give his name.
Lemay and Fontaine said they had to step over blood that covered the hallway when they went to get their mail in the first-floor hallway. They said they also saw blood splattered on his apartment door and the carpeting just inside the door. They said it appeared he had been shot in the doorway, stumbled out the hallway and fell down the three concrete steps to the sidewalk.
At least 20 police uniformed and plainclothes police officers and canine units swarmed through the building and refused to let occupants leave for at least two hours.