For the second time this week New Orleans has made national news for an extreme act of violence. A crowd of approximately 500 people including small children were gathered at Bunny Field Park following the end of a nearby parade. Shortly after the Nine Times Second Line Parade had passed by an impromptu video shoot broke out on the playground. What followed next led to 16 people being wounded by gunshots.
Witnesses say at least two gunmen opened fire on each other injuring 16 people. As yet, no fatalities from these injuries have been reported. 10 people were transported to the hospital by ambulance while 6 others were taken in private vehicles. One 14 year girl was shot once in the leg and five times in the buttocks according to her mother, Kawandra Hayney.
According to the Associated Press Police are left clueless and Mayor Mitch Landrieu has urged witnesses to come forward. In a news conference on WUL-TV, he said, “At the end of the day it’s really hard to police against a bunch of guys who decided to pull put guns and settle disputes with 300 people in between them. That’s just not something you can tolerate in the city. It’s gonna require the people who were in the 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 the police can do their job.”
Police had already been in route to the park after being alerted of the large gathering. It’s not uncommon these days to see local rappers and entertainers shooting videos throughout the city and inviting the community to take part. The problem with these illegal gatherings is the risk of just what happened last night. More safety precautions would have been in place had this been a shoot done legally with a permit which is mandatory for events in public spaces in New Orleans.