Sunday, May 12, 2013

 

Mother's Day second-line shooting on New Orleans injures at least 19 people


A Mother's Day second-line shooting on Frenchmen Street in the 7th Ward, on Sunday about 2 p.m., left about 19 people injured, according to the latest NOPD numbers.

Earlier Sunday afternoon NOPD Superintendent Ronald Serpas said that about 12 people had been injured, but the toll now has grown to 19 people with the NOPD explaining that some victims initially hadn't reported being injured and more people continue to come forward.

The shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street at the intersection of North Villere Street.


"In fact, many of the victims were grazed, some by bullets that ricocheted," Braden said in an email. "At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening.

"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."

Shannon Roberts, 32, was in the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon and early evening alongside reams of others crying and fear-ridden, at times angry, often anxious, 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 alright.

"The city need to stop the violence. It's hurting our families," Roberts continued.

She said the shooters "need to turn they self in. Mothers should not have to be crying any day no less Mother 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 about 12 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.


Shermaine Tyler, 32, who lives on Villere Street about a block from Frenchmen, was celebrating Mother's Day a block from the shooting. Balloons dangled there, and Mother's Day cards were spread out for the holiday.

"Me and mom were going to the second line. I told her I didn't want to go because there are always shots at a second line," Tyler said. "And the second I heard shots, I heard shots fired, we ran outside and one man fell in my lap who had been shot."


She said the man who fell in her lap had been shot in his groin area and once in his hand.

"This is all ridiculous. We all bleed the same blood. We all come from the same God," Tyler said. "Everyone is getting shot, and for what?"

While Serpas said there were about 300 to 400 people participating in the Mother's Day second line, about 200 people apparently were in the area at the time of the shooting. Serpas said about 10 NOPD officers were spread throughout the second line. He said three people were seen running from the shooting scene toward Claiborne.

"Obviously, this is an unusual circumstance," Serpas said. "We have second lines that occur in this city virtually every week at this time of the year."
Serpas added, "We can tell you without a doubt that we will find these guys. We will bring them into custody and make them pay for the crimes they committed today."

Also on Villere, a 59-year-old woman who didn't want to publicly give her name, said she was inside her home, about to go outside to see the parade, when she heard shots ring out.

She said that from her porch she saw hundreds of people scattering, running.

"It's sad that people can't gather together and celebrate," she said. "You don't just go into a crowd and fire into a group of innocent people."

Adriana Stewart, who lives in the area, marched in the second line.

"This was my first time taking my kids to the second line," Stewart said. "It is not fair to the mother or the kids. It is just ridiculous."

Stewart said the second liners were throwing teddy bears and candy to revelers who had lined up to watch.

Serpas said the three gunmen likely worked together, and at least two different weapons were used. One of the suspects is described as a man between 18 and 22 years old with short hair and wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, Serpas said.

The New Orleans coroner said no fatalities have been reported from the shooting.

The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club organized the second line and has held it on Mother's Day since 2001, according to Edward Buckner, the club's president. The parade started Sunday about 1 p.m. at the Original Big 7's home at 1825 Elysian Fields Ave.

Buckner said the parade was started "to celebrate the women of America in New Orleans for the hard time that they have taking care of children, taking care of everyone."

"I can't tell you what the gunmen looked like. I was busy parading. So, you know, I didn't see it coming," Buckner said. "Everyone was just busy having a good time.

"My feelings are hurt for the victims, and the club sends our sympathies and we hope that each of the families know that we wish them a speedy recovery," Buckner said. "We hope that the people who were shot don't stop being fans of the Big 7, because it wasn't anything that they did or the club did, it was just a random act of violence.

"It's not because of the associated pleasure clubs that this type of terrorist act happens. That's not the type of crowd that follow us. We have people as old as 70, and as young as 5" years old who parade, said Buckner, adding that a shooting had never occurred at their Mother's Day second line before.
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