Five people were shot in New Orleans on Sunday night along the route of a parade that is part of the lead-up to Mardi Gras, the police said, causing people to flee and the event to be cut short.
The shooting happened near the intersection of St. Charles Avenue and Terpsichore Street, said Karen A. Boudrie, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department. It was reported at about 9:30 p.m. during the Krewe of Bacchus Parade, which had started in the afternoon.
One person, whose identity had not been released as of late Sunday night, was apprehended at the scene, Chief Deputy Superintendent Hans Ganthier of the police department said. Two guns were found, and the police said they were investigating whether there was more than one shooter.
The victims — three adult men, an adult woman and a girl — were transported to an area hospital, Superintendent Ganthier said. One of the wounded men was in critical condition on Sunday night and the other four victims were stable.
“This is really not something we wanted to see,” Superintendent Ganthier said. “We really wanted this to be a safe Mardi Gras and we continue to work toward that end.”
The Krewe of Bacchus, with more than 1,600 members and 32 floats, holds its parade each year on the Sunday before Mardi Gras. The parade traditionally ends with a black-tie party that attracts more than 9,000 attendees at a convention center.
Julia Moser, a visitor from Los Angeles who had been enjoying the excitement of the crowd at the parade, said she heard a noise that sounded to her like firecrackers, but her boyfriend quickly realized it was gunfire. He grabbed her hand and started running toward his apartment, she said. While fleeing, they could still hear a marching band jubilantly playing.
“It was sort of a mad dash,” Ms. Moser said. “There were tons of kids around, and I was really nervous one of them would get trampled.”