Mass Shooting In New Orleans' Ninth Ward Injures Several During Parade After Party — REPORT
On Sunday night, a mass shooting in New Orleans' Ninth Ward left at least 16 people injured. According to reports, multiple gunmen shot into a crowd of hundreds of people, who were gathered in celebration of a neighborhood parade. The shooting occurred at Bunny Friend Park in the city's Upper Ninth Ward, an area known for being particularly affected by damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The shooting reportedly occurred around 6 p.m. local time. By 7 p.m., emergency responders had arrived on the scene to treat the injured, and local police had blocked off the park and all roads leading to it. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu also arrived on the scene before 8 p.m.
A crowd of roughly 300 people had gathered in Bunny Friend Park on Sunday night as part of an annual celebration led by the local Nine Times Social & Pleasure Club. The group hosts events, including a parade on the third Sunday of November every year, to unite the Ninth Ward and rebuild the community after years of damage and devastation. According to the organization's Facebook page, its mission is "rebuilding the Ninth Ward... one parade, community event, and celebration at a time."
There's no word yet on who the shooters could be, or exactly how many shooters there were. Witnesses told local media that they saw a man with a silver-colored machine gun near the scene and that they heard more shots in the area as he ran away. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said shortly after the shooting that the violence could be gang-related.
Police officers were able to respond to the shooting almost immediately because some had already been near the scene to monitor the parade. Witnesses say that the officers on duty had started to disperse as the festivities died down, but they were still nearby when the gunfire broke out. In a similar but slightly different take, police spokesman Tyler Gamble told local media that officers had been on their way to break up a big crowd after the parade when the gunfire started.
Sunday's shooting occurred just days after a Tulane University medical student was shot in New Orleans on Friday morning. In that case, police have identified a suspect as Euric Cain. Although there doesn't appear to be any relation between the two shootings, they've made for a tragic weekend in the Big Easy.