NEW ORLEANS (AP) — One man was killed, nine people were injured and witnesses said others ran in panic during an early Sunday shooting in New Orleans’ French Quarter, a bustling tourist destination packed with bright lights, bars and live music.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said officers responded about 1:30 a.m. Sunday to the shooting at the intersection of Iberville and Bourbon streets.
The shooting victims were two women and eight men, ranging in age from 20 to 37, he said. One man died at a hospital.
Harrison said police do not know what motivated the shooting, but one male victim was among two men arrested on firearms charges.
Harrison said the shooting happened despite an increased police presence for the Bayou Classic football game Saturday night between Southern and Grambling universities. He said officers were nearby, heard the shots and ran toward them.
Glean Williams, who was selling hats and other items at a table a block away from the shooting, told NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/2foeQRu ) that people ran into doorways and hotels, or hid behind palm trees decorated with Christmas lights along nearby Canal Street.
“It was panic,” said Williams, 24. “Everybody started running. People getting run over, stepped on, knocked over.”
Harrison asked that anyone witnessing the shooting to call police so “we can hold those accountable who committed this heinous crime and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
During a news conference with Harrison, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said authorities would pursue the shooters “very, very aggressively.”
“It’s totally unacceptable,” Landrieu said. “I mean, the violence just continues to spin out of control with people brandishing weapons whenever they think they can.”
An investigation continues.