‘Civil dispute’ cited as shooting cause

A friend of a 28-year-old man fatally shot Thursday night at a 6th Ward auto repair shop said the incident was tied to a long-running dispute that previously included death threats.

The quarrel is said to have been between the alleged gunman and another of the victim’s friends.

Eric Dorsey died after he was shot multiple times at the Easy Finish Auto Repair Shop, 331 N. Galvez St., about 9 p.m., said Officer Frank Robertson III, a New Orleans police spokesman.

Robertson said Dorsey accompanied a friend to the business and became embroiled in a “civil dispute” with the shop’s 25-year-old owner, whom police did not identify.

Robertson said that during the argument, Dorsey pulled out a weapon and threatened the business’ owner, who responded by pulling out his own weapon and shooting Dorsey.

Robertson said Dorsey was taken to a local hospital and died a little less than two hours after the shooting. No other injuries were reported in the incident, and no arrests have been made. Robertson would not go into details about the dispute that preceded the shooting. Police have not officially classified the shooting, but early indication are that it will likely be deemed justifiable.

Robertson said that Dorsey and the gunman had no previous interactions.

Roshaun Peters, a 15-year friend of Dorsey’s, said that Dorsey was only at the shop because another mutual friend feared for his life if he went to the business alone. That friend had a vehicle that was being worked on by the business’ owner, and Peters said that the owner had threatened the man’s life.

Peters said he can’t believe that Dorsey would wave a gun and threaten someone. Dorsey wasn’t a violent man, despite a previous conviction for attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Peters said. He said Dorsey had taken a different path after serving his prison sentence and was living in eastern New Orleans with a girlfriend and their child. Peters said Dorsey had even found a job working at a restaurant in the Central Business District.

“He changed his life,” Peters said. “He was working a 9 to 5.”

Most of Dorsey’s family lives in the Houston area and they were on their way to New Orleans on Friday. Peters said the death of his friend, who he said loved sports, particularly the Madden NFL football series, dismayed him.

“You could catch him on the game everyday,” Peters said. “That’s all he liked to do.”