Police say nearly a dozen people were injured, some critically, when at least one individual opened fire in New Orleans’ French Quarter district early Sunday morning.
Police received reports of shots fired at 3:21 a.m. local time, and according to authorities, when officers responded to the Canal Street address on the edge of the French Quarter moments later, found several people with gunshot wounds. As of 8:00 a.m. local time, two individuals are listed in critical condition, and New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson says they have a “person of interest” in custody, though police aren’t calling him a suspect. From Nola.com:
Ferguson said officers were on the scene immediately as patrols were beefed up for the Bayou Classic in town this weekend. He added that officers at first thought they themselves were being fired upon since the shots rang out so close to them.
The Bayou Classic is the annual college football game between Grambling State and Southern University, and unfortunately this isn’t the first time the weekend’s been marred by violence. Back in 2016 another shooting in the French Quarter during the Bayou Classic weekend left one person dead and nine others injured.
Even at 3:30 in the morning, the French Quarter was full of people. Some were wrapping up a long day of football and revelry, while others were just starting their day.
Kenneth Culbreth started his morning at a Canal Street CVS to make a quick purchase.
Moments later, he walked out to a crime scene.
“On my way out of the CVS, I heard pops. It was so many, I couldn’t keep count.”
A CVS employee had a hard time controlling the crowd that rushed in seconds after the gun fired off.
“I heard three rounds, and people started running,” the employee said.
Because of the crowds of people, police say they’re currently not sure how many shooters there may have been. Authorities are looking at security camera footage from the area to see if they can identify any suspects, but right now there’s simply no information about the suspect or suspects and what might have motivated them to open fire on the crowded city street.
WDSU-TV in New Orleans reports that the investigation seems to be centered around a McDonald’s on Canal Street, though police haven’t said if that’s where the shooting actually took place.
Police held a news conference at 5 a.m. local time, and are expected to provide further updates later on Sunday, but for now all we know is that of the eleven individuals injured, two are listed in critical condition, and police have identified no suspects in the attack.
We’ll continue to monitor the news out of New Orleans and will provide any updates as they become available.