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.
The shooting shattered the festive mood surrounding the parade that drew hundreds of people to the 7th Ward neighborhood of modest row houses not far from the French Quarter. Cellphone video taken in the aftermath of the shooting shows victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and others bending over to help or comfort them.
The FBI said the shooting appeared to be “street violence” and wasn’t linked to terrorism.
At least three victims were seriously wounded. Of the rest, many were grazed and authorities said that overall most wounds were not life threatening. No deaths were reported.
The victims included 10 men, seven women, a boy and a girl. The children, both age 10, were grazed and in good condition.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged witnesses to come forward with information during a news conference Sunday night at a hospital where gunshot victims were taken.
“These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered. Somebody knows something. The way to stop this violence is for you all to help,” he said.
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.
As many as 400 people came out for the second-line procession — a boisterous New Orleans tradition — though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, said Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas. Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events.
Police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests had been made as of early evening.