Mother's Day second-line shooting on Frenchmen Street injures at least 19 peopleA Mother's Day second-line shooting on Frenchmen Street in the 7th Ward, on Sunday about 1:45 p.m., left 19 people injured, according to the latest NOPD numbers. Earlier Sunday afternoon, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said that about 12 people had been injured, but the toll later grew to 19, with the NOPD explaining that some victims initially hadn't reported being injured and more people continue to come forward.
Police said 10 adult men, seven adult women, a 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were struck by bullets. Both of the 10-year-old victims had graze wounds to the body and were in good condition. A man and a woman were reported to be in surgery Sunday evening.
The shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street at the intersection of North Villere Street. Immediately after the shooting police reported seeing three suspects running from the scene. One suspect was seen running on Frenchman toward North Claiborne, police said.
NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said many of the victims were grazed, some by bullets that ricocheted. "At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening," she said in an email.
"But all medical conditions are not known at this time as victims were rushed to nearby hospitals," Braden continued. "Detectives are conducting interviews, retrieving any surveillance video in the area and, of course, collecting all evidence. This is an extremely unusual occurrence, and we're confident that we will make swift arrests."
Kevin Allman, editor of Gambit Weekly, said one of the publication's writers, Deborah Cotton, also known as the blogger Big Red Cotton, was shot and was in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
Shannon Roberts, 32, was in the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon and early evening alongside reams of other crying and fear-ridden - and at times, angry - family members whose loved ones were injured in the shooting. Roberts said she was waiting on a 21-year-old nephew who was shot in the arm and stomach, a 37-year-old niece shot in the arm, and a 39-year-old cousin shot in the back.
"All innocent bystanders got hit," Roberts said. "When I got the call saying they were shot, I wasn't thinking at all, I was just shivering and crying... just hoping they be all right.
"The city needs to stop the violence. It's hurting our families," Roberts continued.
She said the shooters need to turn themselves in. "Mothers should not have to be crying any day no less Mother Day."
Dr. Jeff Elder, director of New Orleans EMS, said that three patients brought in were in critical condition and went straight to operating rooms. The rest, he said, were in good to serious condition and were admitted to the emergency room.
"I know a lot of you have loved ones back there," the nurse told them. "We're just now getting them all evaluated.
"We've had 19 people come in here at one time. We're all staying here until you all have what you need. ...We want to get it right. ... We are gathering facts as fast as we can. This a chaotic situation."
In the waiting room, families tried to console one another. They looked to magazines for distraction. They prayed. And, at times, they said "Happy Mother's Day."
A NOLA.com | Times-Picayune reporter was participating in the Mother's Day second line in the area when the shooting occurred, and heard six to seven shots fired.
Serpas said earlier Sunday afternoon that in addition to the people injured by gunshots, at least one person was injured in a fall during the ensuing commotion. Serpas said three to four people were in surgery, but he said at that time that he did not know their conditions.
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