Gunmen opened fire on dozens of people marching in a Mother’s Day neighborhood parade in New Orleans on Sunday, wounding at least 19, including two children, police said.
Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an email that many of the victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren’t life-threatening. No deaths were reported.
FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig 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. The city has one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S.
A news release said the wounded included two 10-year-olds. It also said two people were in surgery.
Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events. As many as 400 people joined in the procession that stretched for about three blocks, though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
Police saw three suspects running from the scene in the city’s 7th Ward neighborhood. No arrests had been made as of late afternoon.
Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned and are sometimes described as moving block parties.
A social club called the Original Big 7 organized Sunday’s event. The group was founded in 1996 at the St. Bernard housing projects, according to its MySpace page.
The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighborhood’s population was about 60 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina level.
Police vowed to make swift arrests. Serpas said it wasn’t clear if particular people in the second line were targeted, or if the shots were fired in a random fashion.
“We’ll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood,” Serpas said.
In the late afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.
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