Arlington homeowner finds man shot to death in backyard

- An 18 year old man was found shot to death Saturday morning by an Arlington homeowner.

Police say they responded to calls of shots fired that morning near the 4800 block of Brady Court, but found nothing.

"It's not uncommon to receive shots fired calls or fireworks calls late at night and so we weren't able to locate the victim at that point and didn't even know anyone was shot," said Arlington Police spokesman Chris Cook.

But later Saturday morning a homeowner woke up and found a man's body in the backyard. He was later identified as Michael Hartley.

"This is a relatively safe neighborhood.  You know, you think you are safe in your home,” said a woman, going only by the name Michelle, who lives a few doors down from where the body was discovered.

Investigators say Hartley and some friends were driving down the road when they noticed they were being followed. They stopped near the intersection of Embercrest Drive and Brady Court.  That's when, police say, Hartley got out of the car and confronted the people who were following him. Someone opened fire, hitting Hartley. Police say he ran to a nearby house and hopped over the fence, leaving blood stains.  He died just inside the door of the gate.

"Around 7:30 in the morning the home owner goes out in the back yard and says, hey, there's a man in my yard. We get there and obviously this victim's deceased,” said Cook.

Police say Hartley and the shooter and his friends were at a party in east Arlington earlier that night.

While they have yet to make an arrest in the case, police say they are following very strong leads.

Neighbors, like Michelle, say they are relieved to know the shooting does not appear to be random.

“It makes you feel that it wasn't somebody in this neighborhood. You know, you believe you buy a house that's in a safe neighborhood."

Arlington police are asking residents in the Brady Court area to review their surveillance cameras to see if they notice any suspicious activity from the hours of 1 to 4 Saturday morning.

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