Ten people were shot, one of them fatally, in the crowded heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter early Sunday, police said.
Shots were fired at around 1:30 a.m. on the famous Bourbon Street at its intersection with Iberville Street, one block from Canal Street.
Thirty police officers were already in the same block as part of extra patrols following the earlier Bayou Classic college football game and were able to respond quickly, Superintendent Michael Harrison told NBC station WDSU.
“Shots rang out, we responded,” he said, adding it was not clear what triggered the incident.
Ten victims aged between 20 and 37 were shot, including two women and eight men “one of whom has expired at the hospital,” Harrison said. “Our hearts go out to the deceased.”
Two arrests were made for illegal carrying of a firearm.
“One of victims was in possession of a firearm … another subject, who may or may not be affiliated with this event, was arrested for possession of a firearm,” Harrison told WDSU, adding to eight other arrests for the same offense in the space of 24 hours.
“This is the wrong place to bring firearms, we’ve made that clear,” he added. “We are going to pursue this to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Bayou Classic is the annual college football game between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars.
The police department later issued a statement saying detectives were “gathering evidence from the area, including surveillance video footage, as well as interviewing victims and witnesses.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the shooting senseless and tragic, WDSU reported.
“We’re going to pursue these individuals very, very aggressively,” Landrieu said. “Totally unacceptable. The violence continues to spin out of control with people brandishing weapons whenever they think they can. It’s really unfortunate.”
The shooting mirrors another that occurred on Bourbon Street in June 2014. In that incident, a nursing student was killed and nine others were injured. One of the shooters, 22-year-old Trung Le, was sentenced to 60 years in that case. The other suspect remains unidentified.