Shooting during Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans: 19 injured, including 2 children
Over 300 people were participating in the residential festival, on Frenchmen Street, in the east of the city, when several shots were fired. The incident occurred around 2pm local time on Sunday.
Ten men and seven woman were shot along with a 10-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy. The children were grazed and are in good condition, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Garry Flot said.
"Many of the victims were grazed some by bullets that ricocheted," he said.
Nine people were immediately taken to University Hospital by emergency responders, eight of whom had gunshot wounds, according to local channel WWLTV. One more was injured in an attempt to escape from the shooting.
No fatalities have been confirmed, but three are reportedly in a critical condition.
“There was a 10 year old girl we believe who suffered a graze wound, and she is in good condition and under care. Three to four people are in surgery right now, and we have no indication of what their condition is, but we also have no indications at this time that anyone will perish from today’s events,” NOPD Superintendent Ronald Serpas told local station WDSU.
“The shots just started ringing out, and everybody just started running, and the next thing I heard, 10-15 people got shot,” one witness told WDSU.
Police believe three suspects were responsible for the gunfire, who were seen fleeing towards Claiborne Avenue. A door-to-door search is being conducted in the hopes of tracing one or more of them.
Police and local media had appealed for anyone with information on the incident to contact crime stoppers in the hope of tracing the gunman, or gunmen. In the same way investigators of the Boston Marathon Bombings appealed for crowdsourced photographs, police have urged anyone with any photographs of the parade to step forward.
One the suspects is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s with short hair, a white shirt, and blue jean shorts.
A $2,500 cash reward was initially offered, which was later raised to $10,000 amid the massive manhunt for parade shooting suspects. The money is offered to anyone who can provide information that will help track down and arrest the suspects.
The shooting hit the ‘second line’ of the parade. The ‘second line’ is the crowd of parade goers which follows its official participants. NOPD Superintendent Ronald Serpas told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that there may have been up to 400 people in it, with some 200 in the area of the shooting at the time.
The motives for the attack are yet to be determined, but the FBI ruled out this a case of terrorist attack. "This is a common act of street violence in New Orleans," said a representative of the local FBI branch, Mary Beth Romig.
Police and local media have appealed for anyone with information on the incident to contact crime stoppers in the hope of tracing the gunman, or gunmen.
A week ago, police were also called out to investigate a triple shooting near the corner of Frenchman street.
Voice of Russia, WWLTV, RT, Reuters, RIA