NORMAN — An old, eclectic neighborhood in central Norman is the scene of a second shooting in less than a month.
Neighbors say they love the historic enclave, but some are starting to fear for their safety after another woman was shot under the cover of darkness.
Lisa Nardine, 40, was found in a white pickup straddling the intersection of Peters Avenue and Johnson Street late Tuesday night with a gunshot wound to the neck. Less than a month earlier, 57-year-old Mary Ellyn Benavidez was shot to death in a home only three blocks away.
Nardine, who was released from the hospital Wednesday at noon, lived in the neighborhood, neighbors say. Police say they are focused on a suspect but no arrests have been made.
Local residents, many of whom did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals, said the suspect in Nardine's shooting is a woman and that they believe she lives in a house that was searched by Norman police Wednesday afternoon.
Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said that police expect to make an arrest in the next two days but wouldn't release further information about a suspect.
The house that was searched Wednesday is a frequent destination for Norman police. Since 2011, police have been to the residence 17 times on several complaints.
And Nardine, the victim, has been arrested for and charged with several felonies since 2010, including drug and forgery charges.
‘One of the oldest'
Easley said the neighborhood, which he described as “one of the oldest in Norman,” suffers from the same problems as others in Oklahoma's third-largest city.
“With that in mind, you have lower-income residents living in the area ... because the houses are not ... modern,” Easley said. “We do experience generally more calls for service in these particular areas in town but by no means is it comparable to the number of calls that we get, say, down on Campus Corner on a Saturday night.”
Easley said Tuesday night's shooting had nothing to do with Benavidez's slaying, about three blocks northwest of where Nardine was shot in the neck.
“There is no gang warfare or anything like that occurring — at all,” Easley said. “It's as much coincidence that it's in the same general area as anything else. I'm not going to put the residents that live in that area down. It is what it is.”