19 People Shot At New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

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Normal 19 People Shot At New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

Post by NiteSpinR on Sun May 12, 2013 8:51 pm

May 12, 2013

A 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were among 19 people shot and wounded at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans on Sunday, police said.

Most of the victims were grazed, including the children, but three people were reported in serious condition. Both children were in good condition.

The FBI attributed the incident to "street violence," not terrorism.

The victims were in the "second line" -- the name for the informal street parades that regularly wind through New Orleans behind marching bands and dancers. The idiosyncratic local tradition has sometimes stirred debate in the city after shootings marred previous events.

"Just a very tragic day for us again in New Orleans, especially on Mother’s Day," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters Sunday evening. “We have mothers that were shot, sisters that were shot, little children that were shot."

On Sunday, participants and onlookers were milling about on the streets and the sidewalks of east New Orleans' 7th Ward when shots rang out in quick succession at 1:47 p.m.

A video uploaded to social media after the shooting appeared to capture the sounds of at least two guns, which police confirmed.

Landrieu said there was no reason to believe the shooters were part of the procession.

Two participants told the Los Angeles Times that the second line, which featured music, drinking and dancing, had veered off its planned route right before the shooting.

“We were about 50 feet away from the actual shooting,” Happy Acee, 24, told The Times. “It sounded like there were six or seven shots that rang off, and we ended up hitting the deck. ... and literally people [were] just running over the top of us, just trying to get away."

“Right before it happened, there was some idiot on his trampoline on the left side [of the parade route], and everybody was looking at this fool" when the shooting began, Gretchen Ramke, 30, told The Times. “Somebody yelled, 'Everybody get down!' -- not the shooter -- and we hit the street, and I got bruised. I think somebody jumped on top of me."

Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans, told the Associated Press that 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.

A "full contingent" of officers had been accompanying the procession and saw three men running away from the scene that were deemed suspects, New Orleans police said in a statement.

Many of the wounded were grazed by bullets and ricochets, Remi Braden, spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, told The Times in a written statement.

"At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening," Braden wrote. "But all medical conditions are not known at this time as victims were rushed to nearby hospitals. Detectives are conducting interviews, retrieving any surveillance video in the area and, of course, collecting all evidence."

Shermaine Tyler, 32, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that she was at her home about a block from the second line when the shooting began.

"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 he'd been shot in his groin and hand.

Gambit, a New Orleans publication, reported that a noted local journalist, Deborah 'Big Red' Cotton, had been wounded in the shooting and was in guarded but stable condition at a hospital, where she underwent surgery.

Shootings have marred previous second-line parades throughout the city, to some controversy -- particularly for Cotton, who'd written about such violence before.

Three were wounded after a parade ended in 2006; another shooting occurred near a second-line parade in the 7th Ward in 2010 that left one woman dead. Cotton had written about one of the previous attacks and defended the second-line tradition, which dates to the 1800s.

"When you have a society that parades 40 weekends a year, there’s bound to be a murder that falls on the same day and possibly within the vicinity of the parade," Cotton wrote in Gambit in 2010.

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Normal Organizers Embarrassed By New Orleans Parade Shooting

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon May 13, 2013 8:39 pm


Surveillance footage released by the New Orleans Police Department shows a man apparently firing a gun into a crowd during a Mother's Day parade Sunday. (New Orleans Police Department / May 12, 2013)

May 13, 2013

When at least one man stepped into a New Orleans parade crowd on Mother's Day and opened fire, 19 people were shot and injured — and a city's conscience was also wounded.

Officials have not named or arrested any of the three suspects sought in the Sunday shooting, which left three people hospitalized in critical condition Monday.

A still-frame video of the shooting released by police showed one young man in a white T-shirt stepping into the crowd and opening fire, but it's not known at whom or why.

Local officials, journalists and community organizers moved swiftly to condemn the violence and to separate the shooters from the city's culture of "second-line" marches, a New Orleans tradition where residents walk the streets behind a band or other honorees.

"It’s the brazenness of [a shooting at] a second-line parade," New Orleans Police Supt. Ronal W. Serpas told reporters at a Monday news conference, adding, "Second lines are an amazing part of our culture, and we support them."

Addressing the unnamed suspect in the video, Serpas said, “We know a lot more about you than you think we do," and urged him to turn himself in to police.

Other second-line marches have been marred by shootings, giving pause to many local voices who talked about how two disparate New Orleans cultures have collided: the joy of second lines and the sorrow of the city's pervasive gun violence, among the worst in the nation.

"Today’s shooting was in no way a product of second-line culture or somehow set in motion by the parade or its route, as some critics may suggest," the Mother's Day second-line organizers, the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club, said in a statement. "Our parade brings together different folks from across the city — black, white, Latino, the young and the old, and lots of families — to celebrate the best of New Orleans.

"We feel embarrassed that the world is now viewing our city and our community through a lens of violence."

One of the seven women shot in the march was Deborah "Big Red" Cotton, a journalist who has covered second lines and has written about violence at second lines before, which she thought brought unfair criticism on the city's marches.

"What kind of monster opens fire on a Mother’s Day parade crowd? What kind of animal?" writer Brentin Mock blogged after visiting Cotton in the hospital; Cotton had been shot in the back and was sedated. "I hate myself for thinking to ask this in these exact terms, but it’s these exact terms in which I’m thinking."

Many commentators took note of FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig's comment to the Associated Press on Sunday that the shooting did not appear to be terrorism, but “strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans."

In a Sunday email with the Los Angeles Times, Romig didn't mention terrorism: "It is a matter for the local police department. We were aware of the incident but quickly assessed it was not a federal matter."

Ariella Cohen, a friend of Cotton's, was troubled by the terrorism/street crime distinction.

"Die from street violence and you may be remembered by a wooden cross and a few teddy bears set to rest on the sidewalk by your neighbors. You may get a T-shirt printed with your name," Cohen wrote in NextCity. "Die in a terror attack and there will be stone, marble and speeches to remember you with. ... We tell the stories of terror differently than those of urban violence."

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Normal Police Name Suspect Akein Scott In New Orleans' Parade Shooting

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 14, 2013 1:52 am

May 13, 2013, 11:20 PM

Police are identifying a suspect in the shooting of 19 people during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Monday night that they were looking for 19-year-old Akein Scott. He says multiple people identified Scott as the shooter.

CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports Serpas added that search warrants were issued at three addresses connected to Scott. They're asking the 19-year-old to turn himself in.

Police also said in a statement that Scott was previously arrested for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon, Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Resisting an Officer, Contraband to Jail, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon While in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and Possession of Heroin.

"The work done by our Fifth District team is arguably some of the finest police work I've seen in my 12 years as a chief. Right after the first shot was fired yesterday afternoon, these officers knew exactly what to do and wasted no time getting to it", Serpas said.

The investigation is still active and police can't say if more people fired weapon's at Sunday's event.

Three gunshot victims remained in critical condition Monday, though their wounds didn't appear to be life-threatening. Most of the injured have been released from the hospital.

Video released earlier in the day shows a crowd gathered for a boisterous second-line parade Sunday suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground.

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Normal Re: 19 People Shot At New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 14, 2013 1:53 am

Akein Scott, wanted for the Mother's Day shooting spree in New Orleans.


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Normal Re: 19 People Shot At New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 14, 2013 2:31 am

A suspect has been identified in a New Orleans parade shooting that left 19 people injured. Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said that authorities are looking for 19-year-old Akein Scott.

Serpas said New Orleans police are familiar with Scott, who was arrested in March and may be out on bond.

"I would recommend strongly that Mr. Scott contact anybody who he is comfortable with to turn himself in," Serpas said.

When asked if Scott was the lone shooter, Serpas said it was still early in the investigation.

The superintendent credited several people calling a Crimestoppers tip line with helping to identify Scott.

Scott has been arrested in the past for possession of a firearm, resisting arrest and narcotics charges, among other charges, Serpas said.

Images of the parade, released by police Monday, show a man standing at the outskirts of a packed parade route. A moment later, he charges toward the crowd.

The dramatic surveillance camera images see the panicked crowd scrambling for cover. The man runs away, leaving scattered bicycles and bodies on the ground behind him.

The shooting, during a festive New Orleans Mother's Day parade, renewed concerns about crime in the city.

It's the third holiday this year when guns have been fired into crowds, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. A January 21 shooting near a Martin Luther King Day parade left five wounded. Four people were hurt in a February Mardi Gras attack, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Sunday's shooting had sparked worries that despite the number of witnesses, no one will come forward. After years of corruption, a deep-seated distrust of police lingers among some of the city's residents.

A $10,000 reward is being offered in the case.

Remi Braden, a police spokeswoman, described the shooting as "an extremely unusual occurrence."

"We're confident that we will make swift arrests," she said, adding that members of the community have provided tips to authorities.

Witnesses were hard to come by earlier on Monday across the neighborhood, dotted with houses that have barred or boarded-up windows, overgrown lawns and patchy roads in need of paving.

A ripped T-shirt filled with bullet holes hung from a nearby light post, and a pair of old sneakers dangled from a power line.

Abdul Aziz, 33, told CNN's iReport that he saw a gun's muzzle flash at Sunday's parade but couldn't see who the shooter was.

"I'm sad. I love this city," he said. "We're plagued by crime, and it's just not getting better, no matter what we do."

The shooting took place at one of the city's famed second-line parades about two miles from the heart of the French Quarter. The dancing and brass band processions happen nearly every Sunday, except during the hottest months of summer.

The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club, which organized Sunday's parade, decried what it called a senseless attack.

"Secondlining is about community and celebration, not trauma and violence," the group said in a statement, describing crime and violence as systemic problems in the city.

"We feel embarrassed that the world is now viewing our city and our community through a lens of violence," the statement said. "We support a thorough investigation of the shooting and pray the perpetrators will be brought to justice."

The violence took place as New Orleans undergoes an expensive and sweeping overhaul of its police department ordered last year by the U.S. Department of Justice.

And the shooting comes less than a month after federal prosecutors announced the high-profile indictment of five New Orleans gang members on gun and drug charges. The indictment was the first returned as a result of a new multiagency police unit dedicated to rooting out violent gangs in the city, but authorities vowed that it would not be the last.

Asked whether the parade shooting was gang-related, officials said they were still investigating.

"It's too preliminary to tell," Landrieu said, adding that he expected more information later.

"It's a culture of violence that has enveloped this city for a long period of time ... and it's one of the things that we as a community have got to stop," the mayor said.

The attack included shots that were fired from different guns, police said Sunday, and officers saw three possible gunmen running from the scene.

On Monday, at least three victims were in critical condition, said Louisiana State University Medical Center spokesman Marvin McGraw. One other victim was in stable condition at the hospital, he said. Seven others had been released. The conditions of other victims were unclear.

Federal investigators say they have no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

"It's strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," New Orleans FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig said Monday.

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Normal Re: 19 People Shot At New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 14, 2013 2:32 am

What the Hell is wrong with people? This is OUTRAGEOUS!!

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Normal Suspect Akein Scott Arrested In La. Parade Shooting

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed May 15, 2013 11:45 pm

May 15, 2013

The suspect in a Mother’s Day parade shooting that left 19 people wounded in New Orleans was taken into custody Wednesday night, police said.

Akein Scott, 19, was arrested in the Little Woods section of eastern New Orleans, police department spokeswoman Remi Braden said. She said no additional details were available and would not be until Thursday morning.

An earlier police news release said Scott had previously been arrested on charges of illegal carrying of a weapon, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, resisting an officer, contraband to jail, illegal carrying of a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of heroin.

It was not immediately clear whether Scott, who was arrested this past March, had been convicted on any of those charges.

Video released Monday showed a crowd gathered for the Sunday parade suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man in a white T-shirt and dark pants who turns and runs out of the picture.

Police said they identified the suspect from the surveillance camera images.

Two children were among those wounded.

Gun violence has flared at two other city celebrations this year. Five people were wounded in a drive-by shooting in January after a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, and four were wounded in a shooting after an argument in the French Quarter in the days leading up to Mardi Gras. Two teens were arrested in connection with the MLK Day shootings; three men were arrested and charged in the Mardi Gras shootings.

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