FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Gunshots shattered the quiet of the night Tuesday in one Fort Lauderdale neighborhood, now police are trying to unravel a mystery after a man was found murdered in the doorway of his home.
Neighbors called police just after 11 p.m. to say there had been a shooting in a home in the 1100 block of NW48th Street.
Jorge Manresa told CBS4’s Joan Murray that he heard “pop” sounds late Tuesday night and saw a car speed away. Then he saw body of 66-year old Nelson Heck lying in front of his doorway.
Neighbors are stunned and saddened that anyone would hurt Heck who they described as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood.
“He looked out for his neighbors, always there to help everyone,” said a tearful Lynne Davis.
Heck had retired recently from his job at Florida Power and Light and was a Vietnam Veteran.
Fort Lauderdale police said they believe Heck got into some sort of dispute with another man, or men, and it was during this confrontation that he was shot. During the argument, detectives believe Heck got his own gun and fired back before he was fatally wounded.
They are looking into whether a break-in at Heck’s house Monday night was related to the shooting.
One of Heck’s passions was his membership at the Lauderdale Small Boat Club where he was a member for over 20 years. Heck was a fixture there every week often volunteering to cook for big events.
George Prochaska, a friend from the club, said everyone is in shock.
“He was quiet, soft spoken, always a smile. Never the word no if you needed something,” said Prochaska. “He was a friend and we’re gonna miss him.”
Police are asking anyone with information on this murder to call Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.