Nineteen wounded in Mother's Day shooting

Nineteen wounded in Mother's Day shooting
Bystanders comfort a shooting victim. Pic: AP

Gunmen have wounded at least 19, including two children, in a Mother’s Day neighbourhood parade in New Orleans.

Police said many of the victims were grazed, and most of the wounds were not life-threatening.

FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig said investigators had no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

“It’s strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans,” she said. The southern city has one of the highest violent crime rates in the US.

A news release said the wounded included two 10-year-olds. It also said two people were undergoing surgery.

Police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests have been made.

As many as 400 people joined what is known as a second-line parade, a loose procession in which people dance down the street, often following a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned.

Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events.

The neighbourhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighbourhood’s population was about 60% of its level before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

Police vowed to make swift arrests.

“We’ll get them. We have good resources in this neighbourhood,” police superintendent Ronal Serpas said.

Leonard Temple was in tears as he talked about a friend who was shot three times. He was told the man was hit while trying to push his daughter out of the way.

“People were just hanging out. We were just chilling. And this happened. Bad things always happen to good people,” said Mr Temple, who was at the parade but did not see the shootings.

Shootings at parades and neighbourhood celebrations have become more common in recent years as the city has struggled with street crime. Police say gang turf wars are often the root cause.

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