19 New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting victims included 2 kids
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Gunmen opened fire on dozens of people marching in
a neighborhood Mother's Day parade in New Orleans on Sunday, wounding
at least 19 people, police said.
The FBI said that the shooting appeared to be "street violence" and wasn't linked to terrorism.
Many of the victims were grazed and most of the
wounds weren't life-threatening, according to a police news release. No
deaths were reported.
The victims included 10 men, seven women, a boy and
a girl. The children, both 10 years old, were grazed and in good
condition. Police said at least two people were in surgery Sunday night.
Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New
Orleans, said federal investigators have no indication that the shooting
was an act of terrorism.
"It's strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," she said.
Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which
is routine for such events. As many as 400 people joined in the
procession that stretched for about 3 blocks, though only half that many
were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, said Police
Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Police saw three suspects running from the scene in
the city's 7th Ward neighborhood. No arrests had been made as of late
Second-line parades are loose processions in which
people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They
can be impromptu or planned and are sometimes described as moving block
A social club called The Original Big 7 organized
Sunday's event. The group was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard
housing projects, according to its MySpace page.
The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a
mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of
last year, the neighborhood's population was about 60 percent of its
pre-Hurricane Katrina level.
Police vowed to make swift arrests. Serpas said it
wasn't clear if particular people in the second line were targeted, or
if the shots were fired in a random fashion.
"We'll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood," Serpas said.
In the late afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.
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