Tuesday’s mass shooting was New Orleans’ 2nd on Mardi Gras within 8 years

Tuesday\'s mass shooting was New Orleans\' 2nd on Mardi Gras within 8 years
Chief Harrison: Police response was within 3 seconds of the incident
nAs thousands of costumed New Orleanians and visitors filled local streets on Mardi Gras (Feb. 13), clasping at plastic beads and holding cups filled with boozy concoctions to celebrate a happy, sunshine-filled day of their lives, three people lost theirs.

By Tuesday night, New Orleans police had begun investigating the scenes of three shootings throughout the city, including two in the immediate vicinity of the parade route. By the time NOPD Chief Michael Harrison joined his officers for the annual sweep of Bourbon Street, marking the end of Carnival, eight people had been shot, including three fatally.

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“It’s crazy. This is crazy. This is foolish, what are they killing each other for?” questioned one man in the 5100 block of St. Claude Avenue on Tuesday night, where five people were shot, including two who were killed. “This is just foolish for our people to be killing each other. For what?”

The man, who declined to give his name, was inside his home six blocks away when he heard the shots fired.

One man died at a hospital hours after an afternoon argument along the traditional Mardi Gras parade route and two were killed and three wounded in a shooting outside a party Tuesday night.

Pennywise spotted along the Bosque

Eight years ago, an Air Force reservist said something similar after he climbed down from the ladder holding his two children, as they watched parades roll by on St. Charles Avenue, to tend to a man who had been shot in the abdomen. 

The day’s first shooting also left a man in critical condition with a head wound and a boy in stable condition with a leg wound. The man was talking before he was taken to the hospital.
Chief Harrison: Police response was within 3 seconds of the incident
Chief Harrison: Police response was within 3 seconds of the incident

The man Parry tended to was one of seven people injured in a Mardi Gras day shooting in 2009. Other victims ranged from a toddler, who suffered a graze wound to the back, and a 50-year-old woman, who was shot in the elbow.

Three men were charged in connection to the shooting, which authorities characterized as two rival groups opening fire upon each other. Those charges were eventually dropped after the case became entangled in the Danziger Bridge scandal.

Three dead, five hurt in separate shootings on Mardi Gras in New Orleans

In the hours before news alerts were pushed to our phones about the shootings this Mardi Gras, a friend and I hit the French Quarter early, dressed as sea creatures, to dance in the streets. My sports reporter husband, graciously accepting his role as our pack mule for the day, wore his usual  “costume” of a henley T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.

With a raised eyebrow, a friend laughed and said when New Orleanians show up in costume on Mardi Gras, it’s actually who we all really are, and my husband is lucky enough to do that every day.

The first shooting happened around 3:15 p.m. near the intersection of Union Street and Carondelet Streets. One teen was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Another teen was shot in the leg and is in stable condition.Police said the victims were 15 and 16 years old.

By Tuesday’s end, with the city’s second Mardi Gras day mass shooting in less than a decade, it would appear New Orleans, too, did exactly that. Yet again, as the revelry of thousands throughout the city continued, the lives of three met a violent end.

There’s also an effort to make the beads themselves more environmentally friendly. LSU biological sciences professor Naohiro Kato has developed a process using microalgae that will make biodegradable beads – usually three times as expensive as standard beads – more affordable. These beads that break down in months instead of hundreds of years could be another way to reduce Mardi Gras’ environmental impact.
3 killed, 5 injured in Mardi Gras shooting in New Orleans
3 killed, 5 injured in Mardi Gras shooting in New Orleans

Chelsea Brasted is a metro columnist covering the New Orleans area. Send story ideas, tips, complaints and fan mail to [email protected] You can also text or call 225.460.1350, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

This isn’t the first attempt at a Mardi Gras recycling project. A previous volunteer effort called “Verdi Gras” was tried a few years ago. ArcGNO also had a float where people could throw their beads back at the end of the parade, but that was discontinued out of safety concerns. Sauer said interest in recycling now seems higher in the city and among some of the krewes.

Chief Harrison was joined by Greg Probst, a witness to the aftermath of a shooting on along the Uptown route. 

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