(NEW ORLEANS) — A barrage of gunfire erupted in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter early Sunday leaving at least five people wounded and a panicked crowd running for cover.The shooting broke out about 3 a.m. on Bourbon Street at Orleans Avenue, about two blocks from Jackson Square and around the corner from the famed Preservation Hall, according to police.
The New Orleans Police Department said one person was detained and was being questioned about the shooting, but released no further details.
“The investigation remains active and ongoing,” police said in a statement on Twitter.
An EarthCam video camera mounted on Cat’s Meow Karaoke Bar, which normally provides a live feed of the party scene on Bourbon Street, captured the sound of multiple gunshots followed by chaos with panicked people running for cover in all directions. Several people narrowly avoided being hit by cars crossing Bourbon Street.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Superintendent Shaun Ferguson of the New Orleans Police Department both went to the scene of the shooting but did not make any public comments.
Around 4:40 a.m. Sunday, New Orleans police responded to another shooting scene in the adjacent Iberville neighborhood just northeast of the French Quarter in which at least four people were shot, including a juvenile who was killed, authorities said. No other information was available on the Iberville incident.
Like other major cities across the country, New Orleans has seen a surge in shootings and homicides in the first seven months of 2021.
New Orleans has recorded more than 250 shootings and more than 100 homicides already this year. In all of 2020, New Orleans police investigated 195 homicides, a 63% increase from 2019.
In April, Cantrell announced the city was creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention to focus on ways to intervene and mediate conflicts before they result in shootings. The program also focuses on providing jobs and job training programs for young people in the city.
“Nothing stops a bullet like a job,” Cantrell said at the time.
The weekend gun violence in New Orleans came as the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office in Colfax, about 200 miles north of New Orleans, continue to investigate a shooting that occurred on Friday at the Louisiana Mud Fest music festival. Chris Ardon, a Zydeco accordionist and singer, was shot and wounded on stage as his group was performing, according to ABC affiliate station WGNO-TV in New Orleans.
Ardon and a 14-year-old child in the crowd suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
In the aftermath of the shooting, thousands of people attending the music festival immediately began diving for cover and running for the exits, detectives told WGNO.
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