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At least three people were killed and 13 others were wounded in shootings across New Orleans over Memorial Day weekend.
Police said one of the victims was a 12-year-old girl who was fatally shot at a graduation party Sunday night. She died at a nearby hospital.
“It’s very sad, it’s very tragic. Our citizens are celebrating an accomplishment, a significant accomplishment,” New Orleans Police Department Chief Shaun Ferguson said during a press conference Monday. “Twelve-year-old victim, deceased victim, was attending a graduation party when individuals chose to fire upon the party attendees.”
Two other victims, ages 18 and 19, were taken to the hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, Ferguson said.
Karen Williams a neighbor, said she was leaving her home Sunday when her daughter called to say that gunfire broke out at the party.
“She said, ‘They’re shooting, they’re shooting, they’re shooting, I’m scared!’ So I came rushing right back,” Williams told Nola.com.
A suspect has yet to be identified and a motive is unclear at this time, police said.
New Orleans Police Department Chief Shaun Ferguson speaks during a press conference Monday in regards to violence over the weekend.
(New Orleans Police Department)
Ferguson said three people were arrested in connection with the 12 shooting incidents over the weekend.
“We had a very active weekend,” the chief noted.
The incidents included an officer-involved shooting early Monday, which occurred after police responded to a domestic disturbance call. Officers arrived to find a woman, 25, shot in the abdomen, and the suspect, Wilton Anderson, 30, immediately fired at them, according to police.
Officers returned fire and Anderson sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. He fled the scene but was later arrested, Ferguson said.
Anderson was booked on attempted second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and resisting arrest, the chief said. It’s believed that the woman was injured by the suspect, according to police.
The two officers involved in the incident are on administrative duty during the investigation, Ferguson added.
Another shooting over the weekend involved a 17-year-old boy, who was sitting inside a vehicle just before midnight Saturday when two men walked up to the car and shot at him, WDSU of New Orleans reported.
While New Orleans police recently implemented a new program to address violent crime in the city, the chief reiterated Monday that law enforcement officers cannot fight crime on their own. Ferguson said they need the criminal justice system to do its part. He also called on the community to speak up if they see something.
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