New Orleans’ Bourbon Street shooting leaves 10 wounded, 2 critically, tourism image scarred

July 1, 2014 Leave a comment

New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street turns in to war zone.  10 people shot on New Orleans’ most well known street.  A complete article from nola.com is below:

A Bourbon Street shooting early Sunday morning left nine people injured – two critically – in the latest incident of New Orleans gun violence penetrating even the city’s most iconic thoroughfare.

New Orleans police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said “two cowardly young men” were responsible for the carnage, which sent bystanders diving into bustling bars and nightclubs for cover, and others crawling into open storefronts as they bled.

Police confirmed some of the victims were tourists, wounded in the 700 block of Bourbon Street when two men got into a gunfight around 2:45 a.m. No arrests have been made.

At an afternoon news conference, the city’s police chief pledged, “We’re going to catch these two little … uh, young men. And we’re going to hold them accountable and bring them to justice.”

Neither police nor hospital officials would release information about the victims’ ages, genders or hometowns. But witnesses and police radio traffic indicated at least one woman was shot in the face. The extent of her injury was unclear.

“There were bodies everywhere,” said witness Alexis Primeaux of Slidell, who thought she heard between seven and nine gunshots shatter the usual sounds of French Quarter weekend revelry.

“I pushed my friend through the door (of Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub) because she was in front of me and they were trying to shut the doors. There was a guy behind me. He was shot,” Primeaux said.

Bystanders, including a nurse who works in an intensive care unit and an experienced military combat medic, rendered aid until emergency medical services personnel arrived, said an Uptown resident named Susan, who asked that her last name be withheld.

“A cop walked up right after the shots stopped,” she said. “He yelled at the Army medic to ‘do something!'”

The feud between two armed men quickly ensnared innocent bystanders when, as one witness described it, an assailant “just turned around and started shooting at the crowd.” That witness, who was not named, told WWL-TV, He seemed pissed off at some dude, pulled the gun out and started shooting at the guy, then turned around on the crowd and started shooting at us.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, attending a leadership conference in Colorado with gun violence among its topics, condemned the shooting and pledged a swift law-enforcement response.

“Our No. 1 priority is to keep New Orleans safe,” Landrieu said in a statement issued through a City Hall spokesman. “These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered.”

Serpas describes NOPD response

Serpas, whose department is struggling from severe manpower shortages, said three officers were within a block of the scene when shots were fired. He said “nine or 10” officers were stationed along Bourbon Street, and another nine were patrolling the remainder of the French Quarter, along with three detectives, three narcotics task force officers and a supervisor on duty in what he called a standard weekend deployment for the understaffed department.

“We had a lot of people working,” Serpas said. “We know that these things happen. Around the nation, you’ve seen many times where police officers are within arms’ grasp of someone who is so angry with somebody else they choose to try to hurt them. And they don’t even care if the police are standing right there.

“But we care. And we’re gonna find these guys. I don’t have any doubt about it.”

Bourbon Street shooting captured on live EarthCam (shooting is at 5 minute mark) EarthCam, known for bringing the world together through live streaming video, is releasing footage of the recent shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. In the early morning hours of today, Sunday, June 29, 2014, two men exchanged gunfire, shooting nine bystanders. The incident was captured by EarthCam’s HD robotic webcam, which is located on the balcony at the Cat’s Meow. The video contains footage, sometimes graphic, of the five minutes leading up to the shooting, a clear view of at least one of the gunman firing a weapon and victims trying to scramble to safety.

Dr. Jeff Elder, head of New Orleans EMS, said paramedics were on scene within five minutes of the first 911 call. Eventually, five ambulances and one paramedic “sprint unit” responded to treat and transport the wounded.

Despite the chaos of responding to a crime scene in a crowded corridor, the first six patients were taken to Interim LSU Hospital’s trauma-level emergency room within 10 minutes of EMS units’ arrival, Elder said.

While Serpas acknowledged “this is a heinous crime,” he cautioned others against blowing out of proportion what he saw as a poorly resolved conflict between two rash individuals.

“You’ve got to quit focusing on what didn’t happen,” Serpas told a questioner at his news conference. “What happened was two young men got angry and shot at one another. It could’ve happened at this corner, or it could’ve happened at a corner 10 blocks from here, or it could’ve happened in another city.

“That’s what we’ve got to deal with. Those two young men made a choice to hurt each other, and in the process put other people at risk.”

Serpas said it was too soon for police to know how many shots were fired, whether the shooters themselves were wounded, or whether the gunfire was gang-related.

“It’s too early to say,” Serpas said. “Right now, we have reason to believe that they did exchange gunfire. … We’re not sure (if either shooter was hit).”

As for what prompted the dispute and subsequent gunfight, Serpas said, “I know it was about something stupid, I can tell you that. … We don’t know that yet, if it’s gang-related.”

Gun crimes affect tourist areas

Serpas and Landrieu have touted the historic drop in murders, which were down 20 percent last year, and continued to decline during the first part of 2014. But almost every other serious crime is on the rise, statistics from the first three months of the year show. Of particular concern to a city with tourism as its lifeblood is a string of recent shootings along some of New Orleans’ busiest and most well-known streets.

Since March, there have been three daylight shootings downtown on Canal Street. A woman exiting a St. Charles Avenue streetcar was shot in the hip last Saturday. And last Wednesday, a man was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting on Frenchmen Street near some of the city’s most popular live-music venues.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, responding to the mass shooting on Bourbon Street, said any violence, especially involving tourists, is concerning. But, he added, “I don’t believe this one incident will keep people from coming to the city of New Orleans.”

Dardenne said New Orleans’ worst crime areas were usually outside the French Quarter, but, “This is obviously a glaring exception.”

However, even Bourbon Street has its own recent history of gun violence.

In March, a man shot himself in the foot inside the Bourbon Heat nightclub after a security guard spotted a gun inside his pocket and lost control of it in the ensuing scuffle.

On the Saturday before Mardi Gras 2013, gunfire erupted in the packed 400 block of Bourbon Street after three men started arguing, leaving two women and two men wounded in the ensuing mayhem.

And amid Halloween 2011 revelry on Bourbon Street, a 25-year-old man was killed and seven others injured, including a tourist from France, when men opened fire on one another, hitting others in a chaotic crossfire.

Tourism officials put on a brave face in reacting to Sunday’s incident. Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Mark Romig, his counterpart at the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, issued a joint statement.

“Tragedies of violence are impacting cities across our country,” the statement said. “And while this is a crucial, challenging issue for our community, we are encouraged by the initiatives and priority Landrieu and his administration have given it.

Sunday’s shooting comes less than a week before the Fourth of July holiday weekend and the Essence Festival, two happenings expected to send thousands more visitors streaming into downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.

“We already plan for big events like that to have extra officers working downtown,” Serpas said. “For this Essence Festival, we’re using an overtime package of about $300,000 to make sure there’s more police officers here in the French Quarter area. We’re going to have a lot of coverage as we move into the holiday weekend.

“I want to remind the people of New Orleans and anyone else that more than 9 million people a year come to the city of New Orleans and enjoy everything that this city has to offer. I feel very comfortable and confident that we’re going to catch these guys. And that’s going to show the public here or anywhere in the country that we’re on top of this.”

Witness describes gruesome scene

Dave Minsky was seated near the door of Boondock Saint, a bar at 731 St. Peter

Bourbon Street Shooting aftermath caught on mobile phone Caitlyn Segari was in the crowd on Bourbon Street when shots rang out. She captured some of the aftermath in video on her cell phone.

Street, when he heard what sounded like five or six shots. So he went outside.

“Whoever was shooting was still shooting near St. Peter and Bourbon. People were starting to run, then the shooting stopped,” he said.

Minsky said he saw two people run past with a police officer apparently in pursuit. Then he went further up Bourbon Street to see one woman “laying in the street with her eyes rolled back into her head.”

At first, Minsky saw no obvious wounds as bystanders came to that woman’s aid.

“But then I stepped backwards into a pool of blood that hadn’t been there,” he said. “There was a trail of blood from there that led to a woman sitting outside Ali Baba (a closed restaurant at 732 St. Peter St.). Her hands and face were covered in blood. She was conscious, holding her face, and it looked like a bullet had maybe hit near the top of her lip.”

Minsky said that woman was being assisted by someone he later heard was an experienced military combat medic using his shirt to help stanch the woman’s bleeding. He said the scene wasn’t one he’ll soon forget.

“I live in the 7th Ward, and there you hear gunshots a lot,” he said. “I’m a little bit desensitized to it. But Bourbon Street is like the bread and butter of tourism in New Orleans. For that to happen on Bourbon Street, crowded on a Saturday night, people around the world are going to hear about that and think maybe it’s not safe to visit New Orleans.”

Victims recovering

By day’s end, four of the victims had been treated and released from area hospitals.

Two people — the most seriously injured — remained in critical condition at Interim LSU Hospital, Communications Officer Siona LaFrance said.

She said another three victims were in stable condition. Two other victims had been treated at Tulane Medical Center and released by Sunday evening.

The early morning gunfire awoke Michael Tilbury in his apartment a few blocks away on Pirate Alley. While it was literally so for him, he said he hopes “the city takes this as a wake-up call” and addresses the NOPD’s manpower shortage while meting out appropriate punishment for the shooters.

“I hope we catch him and make a total example out of how stupid and reckless this is,” Tilbury said.

 

Join the conversation:

@rayreggie

rayreggie.com

Mandeville, LA

Ray Reggie

 

Well said Mr. Buckner! Second Line and much more…

May 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Mr. Buckner clearly explains that the “problem” here is NOT the second line!  The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club is a great civic and social club well rooted and respected in New Orleans.  The Big 7 organizes the annual Mother’s Day second line as a salute to the mother’s of the area, it is a shame that the horrible act of violence had to tarnish such a great event.

Here’s Mr. Buckner’s Op-Ed piece on http://www.Nola.com

Please take a minute to read this.  Thanks. Ray Reggie, New Orleans, LA

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/05/mothers_day_second_line_helps.html#incart_2box

 

 

Mother’s Day second line helps nourish not only the city’s culture but the younger generation: Edward Buckner

Contributing Op-Ed columnist By Contributing Op-Ed columnist
on May 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM, updated May 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM
 
 The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club community is deeply saddened by the mass shooting that took place during our annual Mother’s Day’s Parade. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the victims of this tragedy and their families. We are with you in your struggle for health, wellness, and justice.

Crime and violence in New Orleans is a systemic problem, and we strongly believe that safeguarding our cultural heritage helps to address the roots of violence. We are a cross-generational organization, ages 5-70. Our young people grow up in this culture, are fed by it, and feel loved, supported and connected in ways that build neighborhood security. That’s real crime prevention.

 

From Sandy Hook to the sacred second-lining streets of New Orleans, these mass shootings have got to stop. Our city has suffered too many mass shootings — remember the seven people shot on St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras in 2009, and the 2011 Halloween Bourbon Street shooting that wounded 16 and left two dead? There is no one solution, but a functioning school system, opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and dismantling the cradle to prison pipeline are good places to start. Our young people need dignified work and a path out of poverty. The street violence will stop when the economic violence stops.

We salute Mayor Landrieu, Scott Hutcheson in the city’s Office of Cultural Economy and Chief Serpas for understanding that second-lining is a sacred community ritual that has nothing to do with trauma and violence. We support a thorough investigation and pray the perpetrators will be brought to justice — not just with a criminal conviction, but with a restorative justice process to more deeply repair the harm.

We host our parade on Mother’s Day to give something back to the women of the world. We are a family, a second-lining family, and we will not let this foolish act disrupt the positive work we are doing in our community.

Edward Buckner is a 7th Ward community leader and president of the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

Raymond Reggie Suggests…

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Reading this article about a new book called SHAKE THE DEVIL OFF, A True Story of the Murder That Rocked New Orleans by Ethan Brown.  It seems to have an interesting take on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the people that lived through it and post traumatic stress disorder.  Combine Hurricane Katrina and being a veteran of the Iraq war, it does seem to make sense that the stress disorder would be twice as bad and it is hard to imagine what that kind of overwhelming trauma and despair could do to the human mind.  That has got to be a time bomb waiting to happen.  Many times very young people are dealing with multiple traumas in their short past.  How do you even begin to help someone that has lived through numerous traumas in their life?  How do we help these people get their lives back before the time bomb goes off????

–Raymond Reggie–

Ray Reggie Recommends…

August 9, 2009 1 comment

Hey all,

I know it is Sunday and we are all trying to relax but I just found this article about the upcoming elections for Mayor of New Orleans and the possible candidates.  Wonder who else will be popping out of the woodwork before the campaigns actually begin??  Read the article about the candidates here…

Any opinions?  Let me know…i would love to hear your ideas!

–Ray Reggie–

A New Twist On Raymond Reggie Wonders…

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Bayou Buzz has just posted an interesting turn of events with the William Jefferson verdict.  The verdict could have a serious impact on the upcoming New Orleans elections since there is now a major political void that needs to be filled from the once very powerful Jefferson machine. Ethics may also become more of an issue than ever before and you can bet that campaigns will hit home on that theme in local and statewide politics.  This could all draw a great deal more attention to the actual Govenor’s Office and the ethics and policies in play there…Stay tuned…

–Raymond Reggie–

Raymond Reggie Wonders…

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Raymond Reggie Wonders…how many other people agree that our elected officials are not doing right by our city?  According to the many comments on this article that details the astonishing way those officials conduct business for New Orleans, it seems I am not the only one that finds it all completely unacceptable.

The contract (with Ciber) is one of the most lucrative professional services contracts at City Hall, if not the most lucrative. City officials are not required to award such contracts to the low bidder, though they generally must invite interested parties to submit proposals.

Ciber won its original deal after such a competitive process, but since then the contract has simply been amended. City officials could not provide copies of the three previous amendments Monday.

Makes you wonder what other deals these people have made that have not even became public yet, doesn’t it?

Thoughts anyone???

–Raymond Reggie–

Raymond Reggie Recommends…

July 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Raymond Reggie has made it clear for some time (as evidenced in this previous post here on Raymond Reggie’s New Orleans Crime Watch Blog), that the current New Orleans leadership and accountability leave a great deal to be desired.  Ray Reggie contends that one thing that would make things better in New Orleans is the return of former police chief, Richard Pennington.  While it is unclear if Pennington would be willing to return to his former post as police chief since his move to Atlanta, it would certainly be a step up from where we are at as evidenced by this blast by the Bayou Buzz, New Orleans Police Chief Riley: Where Are You?.  Author Jeff Crouere and Raymond Reggie apparently share quite a few opinions regarding the current administration in New Orleans.  Gotta say…the man has a point!!

–Raymond Reggie–