New Orleans police vow to catch 'street violence' shooters of Mother's Day parade
Monday 13 May 2013
Police in New Orleans have vowed to track down gunmen who shot 19 people at a Mother's Day parade in an attack.
The attack, which was described as 'street violence' by the FBI, wounded ten men, seven women along with a boy and a girl both ten years old.
According to reports two of the people injured have undergone surgery.
Many of the victims suffered less significant injuries including grazes. The majority of the wounds are not considered life-threatening.
Detectives at the scene are reportedly collecting any surveillance video they can find and gathering evidence from where gunmen opened fire on Sunday on the parade of hundreds of revellers Mobile phone videos after the shooting showed victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and others bending down to comfort them.
It is not the first time gunfire has shattered a festive mood in New Orleans this year.
Five people were wounded in January after a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, and four were wounded in a shooting in the French Quarter before Mardi Gras, a popular tourist destination.
"The specialness of the day doesn't appear to interrupt the relentless drumbeat of violence," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said outside a hospital where victims were being treated.
As many as 400 people came out for the second-line Mother's Day procession - a boisterous New Orleans tradition. Police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests had been made yet.
Outside the hospital, Leonard Temple wept as he talked about a friend who was in surgery after being shot three times during the parade. Mr Temple was told the man was hit while trying to push his own daughter out of the way.
"People were just hanging out. We were just chilling. And this happened. Bad things always happen to good people," he said.
Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following a brass band. They trace their origins to the city's famous jazz funerals.
The neighbourhood where the shooting happened is a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. The crime scene was about 1.5 miles from the heart of the French Quarter and near the Treme neighbourhood.
New Orleans is struggling to pay the tens of millions of dollars required under a federal decree to reform the city's police department and the city jail.
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