Police hunt for the suspects who shot 19 people, including two children, during a holiday parade
On Mother's Day, a parade in New Orleans turned from a joyous celebration into a violent scene as 19 people, including two children, were injured by gunfire. Police currently have no suspects in custody.
What do authorities know so far? Police have named one suspect, Akein Scott, 19, of New Orleans. New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that Scott was "no stranger to the criminal justice system." According to The Associated Press, Scott had previously been arrested for illegal possession of a stolen firearm, resisting arrest, and carrying a weapon while in possession of heroin.
Police are trying to determine how many shooters were involved. Initially, investigators said three suspects were seen leaving the scene of the crime, according to the The Associated Press. One witness, medical student Jarratt Pytell, shared a harrowing first-hand account of the shootings with The Daily Beast:
That was exactly what I thought it was, just some fireworks. It wouldn't be out of line. Just then, all the people in the street started moving in one giant wave away from the intersection. Standing about 10 yards away, on the right side of the street at the corner, facing the middle of the street, I saw the shooter. He was a young black kid. Couldn't have been older than 18, skinny, wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, standing with his hand outstretched, firing rapidly into the middle of the street. The shots were coming so fast, it was difficult to tell them apart. [Daily Beast]
The New Orleans Police Department announced in a press release that it was looking for "an African-American male approximately 18 to 22 years old wearing a white T shirt and blue jean shorts" and offered a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Police also released surveillance video of the suspected shooter — which police now say multiple people have identified as Scott — on YouTube. The suspect, standing on a street in New Orleans' 7th Ward, appears to shoot into the crowd and then run away:
FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig told reporters that the shooting was "strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," not at an act of terrorism. The AP reports that nearly 400 people had shown up for the parade but 200 were in the direct area where the shots went off.
None of the shooting victims were killed, Remi Braden, spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, told The Los Angeles Times, although the final toll of the violence won't be known until officials can confirm the status of some of the victims who had been rushed to local hospitals.
"We're going to be very, very aggressive," New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said, according to CNN. "There were hundreds of people out there today, so somebody knows who did this."
This article was last updated on May 14, 2013. It was initially published on May 13.
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