A 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were among 19 people shot and wounded at a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans today, police said.
Most of the victims were grazed, including the children, but three people were reported in serious condition. Both children were in good condition.
The FBI attributed the incident to “street violence,” not terrorism.
The victims were in the “second line” — the name for the informal street parades that regularly wind through New Orleans behind marching bands and dancers. The idiosyncratic local tradition has sometimes stirred debate in the city after shootings marred previous events.
“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.”
On Sunday, participants and onlookers were milling about on the streets and the sidewalks of east New Orleans’ 7th Ward when shots rang out in quick succession at 1:47 p.m.
A video uploaded to social media after the shooting appeared to capture the sounds of at least two guns, which police confirmed.
Landrieu said there was no reason to believe the shooters were part of the procession.
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.”
Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans, told the Associated Press that 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.
A “full contingent” of officers had been accompanying the procession and saw three men running away from the scene that were deemed suspects, New Orleans police said in a statement.
Many of the wounded were grazed by bullets and ricochets, Remi Braden, spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, told The Times in a written statement.
Read more at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.