Nineteen Shot in New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade [Video]

Police in New Orleans are searching for three suspects after 19 people, including two children, were injured in a shooting at a Mother’s Day parade on Sunday.

New Orleans police were looking for three suspects tonight after someone opened fire at a Mother’s Day parade, wounding as many as 19 people, including a 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

The shooting – described by the FBI as a flare-up of street violence – shattered the festive mood surrounding the parade that drew hundreds of people to the 7th Ward neighborhood of modest row houses not far from the French Quarter.

Cell phone video taken in the aftermath of the shooting shows victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and others bending over to comfort them.

Remi Braden, director of public affairs for the New Orleans Police Department, said there were no fatalities and “most of the wounds are not life-threatening.”

The shots were fired at 1:47 p.m. in the area of North Villere and Frenchmen streets during what is locally referred to as “a second-line parade,” Braden said.

“At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life threatening,” police spokesman Garry Flot said.

As many as 400 people came out for the second-line procession – a boisterous New Orleans tradition – though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, said Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events.

Police also warned that anyone withholding information or helping “harbor, conceal, or aid the offender, knowing or having reasonable ground to believe that he has committed the felony, and with the intent that he may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment” could be charged as an accessory.

Three suspects were seen running from the scene after the shooting, police said.

One suspect was described as an African-American male approximately 18-to-22-years-old, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

“The specialness of the day doesn’t appear to interrupt the relentless drumbeat of violence,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a news conference late Sunday outside a hospital where the victims were being treated.

“These kinds of incidents are not going to go unanswered. We’re going to be very, very aggressive. There were hundreds of people out there today. “

He continued: “So somebody knows who did this, and the way we’re going to stop the violence together in this city is everybody come together.”

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas has said a witness reported hearing two different types of gunshots, indicating two weapons were involved.

“When the end of the parade reached North Villere and Frenchmen … shots were fired from different guns,” police spokesman Garry Flot said in a statement.

“Immediately after the shooting our officers saw three suspects running from the scene.”

Violent crime in New Orleans ranks above the national average in FBI surveys. A poll of residents in 2010 found crime to be their greatest concern.

Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans, said federal investigators have no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism, says the Huff Post. “It’s strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans,” she said.

In January, there was a similar style shooting at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, when five were wounded. And around Mardi Gras time, there was a shooting in the French Quarter that left four injured, writes the Washington Times.

Violent crime in New Orleans ranks above the national average in FBI surveys. A poll of residents in 2010 found crime to be their greatest concern.

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