Gunfire injures 19 during La. parade

ASSOCIATED PRESS Passers-by comfort one of 19 victims hurt as gunmen open fired during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans yesterday.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Passers-by comfort one of 19 victims hurt as gunmen open fired during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans yesterday.
Posted: May 14, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - Gunmen opened fire on dozens of people marching in a neighborhood Mother's Day parade in New Orleans yesterday, wounding at least 19 people, police said.

The FBI said that the shootings appeared to be "street violence" and weren't linked to international terrorism.

Many of the victims were grazed, and most of the wounds weren't life-threatening, police spokeswoman Remi Braden said. No deaths were reported as of last night.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that a 10-year-old girl was grazed in the shooting about 2 p.m. She was in good condition. He said three or four people were in surgery, but he didn't have additional information about their conditions.

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 said.

Police saw three suspects running from the scene in the city's 7th Ward neighborhood. No arrests had been made as last night.

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.

The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class rowhouses, 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.

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