A Mardi Gras parade shooting in New Orleans on Monday has killed one, wounded four including a young girl.
Carnival season, which ran from January 6th to Fat Tuesday on February 21st, features increasingly large parades nearly every night. The largest were in the final weekend, drawing thousands of viewers to the area around the French Quarter.
The Krewe of Bacchus is an immense parade with a 55 year history, featuring celebrity ‘kings,’ iconic floats, and overarcing themes. It was just reaching the midway point of its five-mile route along St. Charles Avenue when gunfire sent tourists and parade members running for safety. Accounts disagree on how many shots and from where, but the volley was brief. When it had ceased, a teenage boy had died, and a four-year-old girl, two men, and a woman were wounded.
Police were already out in force due to the revelry in the streets, with New Orleans’ own forces enhanced by other Louisiana law enforcement agencies. They had already broken up a number of fights in the vicinity, before the gunfire occurred. They immediately apprehended a young man with two guns at the scene. He was initially jailed for illegally carrying a weapon. Late Monday night, police announced that the 21-year-old man also faced a charge of second-degree murder.
“This was an isolated incident that occurred near the parade route because someone decided that they were going to … that the resolution was going to be ended with gunfire ,” said Michelle Woodfork, New Orleans police Superintendent. She and other city officials noted that the shooting marred what had largely been a peaceful Carnival celebration this year. Mardi Gras has a rowdy reputation, but it has been eight years since the last shooting directly at a parade. However, since Monday’s shooting, a second shooting on Tuesday night took another victim, this one Woodfork’s own cousin.
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