Shooting at Mardi Gras parade sent attendees running, witness said
NEW ORLEANS -- Five people were shot, one fatally, at the Krewe of Bacchus Parade in New Orleans on Sunday night, police said.
All five victims -- three males and two females -- were transported to local hospitals. One of them is a juvenile, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
A male victim died from his injuries at the hospital. The other four victims, including the juvenile, were listed in stable condition, police said.
New Orleans resident Camryn Lafleur, 19, said she was watching the parade when "gunshots were fired across the street," triggering panic and a stampede. She said she sought cover before retreating into a relative's nearby house.
"I couldn't see, but I was hearing them," Lafleur told ABC News of the gunshots. "It was a continuous loud noise that kept going off. And when I saw people coming from the other side, running across the street, like, in front of the float to us and I saw their faces with pure horror, that's when I realized something's not right. This must be a shooting."
"It didn't used to be like this," she added. "It didn't used to be this dangerous in the city at all."
Longtime resident Kristie Bowerman, 49, said the incident on Sunday night marked the third time she has witnessed a shooting at a Mardi Gras parade. She described the scene as "mass chaos."
"The shots just rang out and then, instantly, people were just stampeding in all different directions," Bowerman told ABC News. "People were being, you know, knocked out of their chairs onto the ground."
Bowerman said she and her husband were watching the parade from a balcony and ducked for cover as the shots rang out, knowing that they needed to "get down and get as flat as possible and then get out of the way." She said they tried to convince another couple, who believed the shots were just fireworks, to also take shelter, yelling at them: "No, those aren't fireworks -- those are gunshots! You need to get down!"
Bowerman recalled looking down at the aftermath to see "people sobbing everywhere."
"Some people were injured," she told ABC News. "I think a lot of people were in shock and I think a lot of people were scared."
An unidentified suspect was arrested "just moments after shots were fired," police said. Two weapons were also recovered from the scene, according to police.
Investigators are still working to determine whether others had fired shots or were involved in the incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact the New Orleans Police Department's Sixth District at 504-658-6060, or anonymously call CrimeStoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111.