New Orleans police launched a manhunt on Monday for a man who shot 16 people during a music video recording at a city park. Doctors confirmed that all victims were in stable condition. The shooting occurred Sunday at Bunny Friend Park in the Ninth Ward where more than 500 people gathered to watch the video shoot.
New Orleans detectives are searching the neighborhood for surveillance video of the incident or suspects. The shooting followed a parade by the Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club which took place a block away from the crime scene. City police officers had been monitoring the parade, but witnesses said they were beginning to disperse as the after-party kept going. Emergency medical workers took 10 of the injured to hospitals. Six more of the injured made their way to hospitals by other means.
According to the AP, the “second line” parades come from the New Orleans famous jazz funerals and carry many of the same traditions with them as they march down the streets. Dozens of these parades are scheduled throughout the year and throughout the city, usually occurring on Sunday afternoons. The parades range in size, level of organization and traditions.
The murder rate in New Orleans reached a 43-year low last year at only 150, the lowest since 1971. The downward trend represented the third consecutive year in which murders had declined. The Times-Picayune reported that as of Sunday the city’s 2015 murder rate stood at 138. The latest was the fatal shooting of a 37-year-old man on Nov. 14.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison told the AP that the shooting may have been gang related. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking in a news conference aired on WWL-TV, called on people who were in the park to come forward with information. The police have also asked people who might have any video of the shooting to bring it to police.
At the end of the day it’s really hard to police against a bunch of guys who decide to pull out guns and settle their disputes with 300 people in between them. That’s just not something you can tolerate in the city.”
Photos of the scene showed emergency workers wheeling some of the wounded to ambulances on gurneys while other people who appeared to be in pain lay on the ground. No deaths were reported and police had few details on the extent of the victims’ injuries. Police spokesman Tyler Gamble noted that the music video was being made without a permit to use the park. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison told reporters that officers were a block away from the park when they heard the gunshots and were flagged down by passersby.