The crowded streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, rang with gunshots instead of festive screams and cheers on Sunday, February 19th, 2023, during the Krewe of Bacchus Mardi Gras parade, two days before the widely celebrated holiday, which falls on February 21st this year.
A 4-year-old girl and a 15- to 18-year-old man were killed when bullets flew through the crowd gathered for the parade at around 9:30 p.m. People fled, leaving their beads and belongings scattered along the ground. Two women, ages 22 and 24, and an 18-year-old man were also injured and taken to the hospital.
When police arrived, they were able to find two weapons and "apprehend what [they] believe to be the shooter," according to NOPD Deputy Chief Hans Ganthier. Mansour Mbodj, a 21-year-old man, was apprehended at the scene; however, police are still unsure if there was another person involved.
The common walking route for Mardi Gras goers on St. Charles and Terpsichore St. was blocked off by police as well, and what is known as Buccash came to a halt as the 22nd float rode by the crowd. Floats 22, 23, and 24 rode through the intersection where the shooting happened.
An hour after the shooting took place and the police had cleared the area, people were allowed to continue the march past the bridge at St. Charles and Calliope.
Currently, the police are investigating the scene and ballistic reports to determine who was the shooter and if there was, in fact, more than one, but no further updates have been made.
With over 70 mass shootings in the first months of 2023, this raises concerns for gun law regulations and the conversations surrounding them.
This parade is a family event, and in a state where gun violence is the number one cause of death for children, this is concerning to parents and has become increasingly so.
Joe Biden has even tweeted recently that he will attempt to ban automatic weapons, and with the shooting in New Orleans adding to the long list, the U.S. may see further action taken to prevent horrible events like these.
NOPD Superintendent Michelle Woodfork has said this is an "isolated incident," and they are working hard to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
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