Residents of a downtown St. John's neighbourhood say they have been frightened and angered for about two years by the activities at a house which is now the centre of a homicide investigation.

A 47-year-old man died early Sunday from injuries sustained during a violent altercation at 8 Tessier Pl., four days earlier.

"Rumour has it that cocaine was being sold there," said Peter Harbin, a resident of the street. "I just always believed it was whatever they could get their hands on that was hard, you know? Prescription drugs. Anything chemical."

Harbin said he has seen a lot of activity at the house.

"There was a large number of prostitutes who went through there as well," said Harbin. "Just down there from the corner, whatever. You'd see them walk up through the park and go there and walk back down."


Peter Harbin is planning to move away from Tessier Place. (CBC )

Harbin said even before last Wednesday's violence, he planned to move.

Needles found

Another neighbour, who didn't want to be identified, said she has stopped allowing her children to play outside. She noted there's been vandalism, car break-ins, and residents have found needles in the area. 

In a letter to the media, residents of Tessier Place said they believe the house in question is at the centre of the illegal drug trade and prostitution.

The residents' letter went on to say that they have gone to city hall, the police and the property owner with their concerns over the goings-on at 8 Tessier Pl., but that nothing had changed until the man was killed. They say they have a meeting scheduled with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, city officials, and mayoral candidate Sheilagh O'Leary on Friday. 

Investigation ongoing

Meanwhile, the RNC has had a presence outside the house since the day of the beating, and police have been asking anyone who may have information connected to the incident to come forward. 

In the meantime, an autopsy is planned for the victim.

"We will await the results from that and that will be passed on to our investigators and the investigation will be ongoing from there," said Sgt. Paul Murphy.

Murphy said the victim's name may be released after all family members have been notified.