A shooting at a New Orleans playground left 16 individuals wounded Sunday in the city’s Upper Ninth Ward. All the shooting victims were listed in stable condition. According to officials, hundreds of individuals had gathered for a music parade event sponsored by the Nine Times Social Aide and Pleasure Club, as well as an impromptu music video being filmed at the park.
Writes The Associated Press on Nov. 23: “Hundreds of people were gathered at a playground for a block party and music video shoot when two groups in the crowd opened fire on each other Sunday evening, police said. Police were on their way to break up a big crowd at Bunny Friend Playground when gunfire erupted at the park in the city’s 9th Ward, the police said in a statement.”
Police said two groups of people, possibly gang affiliated, opened fire at one another in a crowd of 300 people. Ten were taken to hospitals via ambulances while the other six sought their own medical treatment. The number of shooters is unknown at this time. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said the “after party” at the park was an “unpermitted event.”
“Detectives are still working to determine the extent of all of the victims’ injuries,” said police spokesman Tyler Gamble to the Times-Picayune. “Information on the age and gender of all victims involved as well as the extent of their injuries will be provided when it is available.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking for witnesses to come forward to identify the shooters and to voluntarily turn over any cellphone video they may have of the incident.
“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,” Landrieu said. “It’s going to require the people who were in this park to basically say they’ve had enough and they’re not going to put themselves in harm’s way and give us information so that the police can do their job.”
Harrison said officers were dispatched to the park to disperse the loiterers and shut the event down, but while they “were a block away they heard gunshots and were flagged down.” One witness said she saw a man with a “silver machine gun” fleeing the scene.
“This is a classic case where we need citizen help,” Harrison said. “People know who did this. We need them to come forward and tell us so we can bring these people to justice.”
The New Orleans playground shooting is the largest mass shooting to occur in the city since the 2013 Mother’s Day shooting that left 19 injured.