Crime

Neighbors mourn man killed in shooting at Fort Worth duplex

A man was killed in a shooting in east Fort Worth on Monday night, police said.

The shooting occurred in a duplex in the 4700 block of Chapman Street.

Lillie Hester, 38, and her longtime boyfriend, Michael Webster, 34, live in the adjoining apartment with their two daughters — ages 13 and 14 — and can hear noises through the shared wall. They were all home Monday night.

At around 9 p.m., Hester was taking a bath as the girls made pizza for dinner. Webster was playing a video game, Red Dead Redemption 2.

The girls, in the kitchen, heard three gunshots followed by a loud banging against the wall, Hester said. They ran into the bathroom, thinking the sudden noise had come from there.

The family only found out what had happened when they went outside and saw a crowd of people.

“I was up all night ... just the thought of it happening so close to me,” Hester said while sitting in her van in the front driveway. “And my kids were up all night with me. They were just scared.”

“I stood out here last night until maybe around 2 o’clock,” added Webster, standing in the driveway. “I was just trying to really find out what was going on. That was my friend. I would go over there every day when I didn’t have work.”

The identity of the victim wasn’t released. He lived in the apartment alone, according to Webster and Hester.

Police haven’t named any suspects or announced a motive for the shooting. Officers responded to the duplex around 9:45 p.m. Monday and found the deceased man, police said.

The incident follows a week in which there were four homicides in Fort Worth.

‘He was a good dude. He ain’t bothered nobody.’

A crowd of hundreds gathered in front of the duplex at Chapman and Danner streets Monday night into the early morning hours of Tuesday. Juan Rodriguez, an electrician who lives on Danner, got home from work around 2 a.m. Tuesday and had to park in the street because people were blocking his driveway.

“I was barely able to pull my car in,” he said. “It was just really surprising.”

A woman also came by the duplex on Tuesday morning to tether two red balloons to the electric poles in the front of the duplex. Messages were scrawled onto the balloons, including “gone but never forgotten.”

Webster said he and Hester moved with their daughters to Fort Worth about two years ago to find more work opportunities. Webster, who works at a car wash, said the victim has been his closest friend since moving here.

When he didn’t have to work, he said, he would often venture over to the other side of the duplex to spend time with the victim. They would drink Modelo beers, play video games such as Call of Duty and talk, he said.

“I can’t even do that no more because somebody killed him,” Webster said. “He was a good dude. He ain’t bothered nobody.”

He and Hester were in the driveway on Tuesday morning as they processed the shooting. Hester said they have experienced three attempted break-ins at their apartment, and this shooting is another cause for alarm.

She said she hopes they could find a way to move elsewhere.

“It’s too much,” she said.

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