Nineteen people were injured on Sunday when gunfire erupted at a Mother’s Day parade inNew Orleans, police said. Two young children were among the victims.
Shots rang out at 1:45 p.m. local time as the second line of the parade passed the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street in the city, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Garry Flot said.
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, Flot said in a statement.
“Many of the victims were grazed some by bullets that ricocheted,” he said.
Two victims are undergoing surgery, according to Flot. There were no fatalities and most of the wounds were non-life threatening, Remi Braden, spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department, said.
The FBI attributed the incident to “street violence,” not terrorism.
“Just a very tragic day for us again in New Orleans, especially on Mother’s Day,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters Sunday evening. “We have mothers that were shot, sisters that were shot, little children that were shot.”
New Orleans police superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters at least one other person was injured as spectators fled the scene.
Emergency medical responders took 11 people to Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans, according to hospital spokesman Marvin McGraw. He said he could not discuss their conditions because he did not have their consent.
Officers saw three suspects running away. No arrests were made.
Two participants told the Los Angeles Times that the second line, which featured music, drinking and dancing, had veered off its planned route right before the shooting.
“We were about 50 feet away from the actual shooting,” Happy Acee, 24, told The Times. “It sounded like there were six or seven shots that rang off, and we ended up hitting the deck. … and literally people [were] just running over the top of us, just trying to get away.”
“Right before it happened, there was some idiot on his trampoline on the left side [of the parade route], and everybody was looking at this fool” when the shooting began, Gretchen Ramke, 30, told The Times. “Somebody yelled, ‘Everybody get down!’ — not the shooter — and we hit the street, and I got bruised. I think somebody jumped on top of me.”
Photographs of the shooting aftermath in the Times-Picayune newspaper showed a man lying on his stomach beside a pool of blood, being helped by two bystanders.
Other photos showed a man in shorts sitting on a cobbled street, his calf bleeding and covered with a bandana.
The incident is not the first shooting involving multiple casualties in New Orleans this year.
In February four people were wounded in a shooting outside a nightclub in the city’s French Quarter as crowds gathered for Mardi Gras celebrations.
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