New Orleans, LA – One person was killed and a four-year-old girl and three others were injured after a gunman opened fire along a Mardi Gras parade route on Sunday night.
The attack occurred outside the Hoshun restaurant near Terpsichore Street and St. Charles Avenue at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, WWL reported.
The Krewe of Bacchus parade was nearly complete when a gunman opened fire, hitting a four-year-old girl, a 22-year-old woman, a 24-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man, and a male teen between the ages of 15 and 18, according to police.
One witness said the gunman fired off at least 12 rounds, sending people running wildly in all directions in an effort to escape, WWL reported.
“Everyone ran. Everyone took cover,” paradegoer Andrew Crawford told the news outlet. “My whole family ducked. I kind of just hovered over my family, like the small children.”
The five victims were rushed to a local hospital, where the unidentified 15-to-18-year-old male succumbed to his wounds, WWL reported.
Officers arrested the alleged gunman at the scene.
He has been identified as 21-year-old Mansour Mbodj, CNN reported.
Mbodj, who was initially charged with illegal carrying of a weapon, was hit with an additional charge of second-degree murder late Monday, according to the news outlet.
BREAKING UPDATE: Multiple People Shot At New Orleans Bacchus Parade..pic.twitter.com/UO0ezvECiO
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) February 20, 2023
Investigators are still working to determine what led up to the fatal shooting.
“We don’t know what happened prior to that, but we did hear gunshots and our officers responded as well as other agencies very quickly,” New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Deputy Chief Hans Ganthier told WWL. “And we were able to find two weapons on scene and also apprehend what we believe to be the shooter.”
Police said they also aren’t sure Mbodj was the only gunman involved in the incident since they recovered two firearms, WWL reported.
The investigation into the fatal attack remains ongoing.
NOPD Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork said the four other wounded victims have since been released from the hospital and are continuing their recoveries at home, CNN reported.
#BREAKING @NOPDNews have a perimeter set up at St. Charles and Terpsichore St.
Bacchus has come to a stop.
First responders are currently attending to a female on the ground. pic.twitter.com/1pKLtrLXyC
— Jonah Gilmore (@JonahMGilmore) February 20, 2023
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell released a statement Monday denouncing the violence and those who seek to disrupt the city’s Mardi Gras season.
“Mardi Gras is our time to shine, and people convene on the streets of New Orleans from all parts of the world to witness how we celebrate our culture,” Cantrell wrote. “Unfortunately, individuals utilize opportunities like these to deter us from our main goal of keeping our residents and visitors safe. Last night’s incidents do not and will not reflect the successful Carnival season we have experienced thus far. This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.”
The mayor commended the NOPD for quickly apprehending the suspect and securing the scene.
She said the city has also partnered with law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana to deploy more than 100 additional law enforcement personnel during the Mardi Gras festivities.
“Please, it is imperative that we keep our routes safe – safe for our residents, our visitors and our children. Mardi Gras is about coming together to celebrate the greatest free show on earth,” Cantrell wrote. “We must continue to parade safely; leave the violence at home! It has no place in the City of New Orleans, and it has no place near our parade routes.”
“Thank you to our outside law enforcement agencies for joining the NOPD to manage the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have descended upon our city over the last two weeks. We truly couldn’t do this without you,” the mayor added. “Residents, thank you for continuing to support our efforts to keep you safe — and thank you to our visitors for continuing to fill the streets of New Orleans with your love, your passion and your exhilarating spirit. We look forward to a safe and successful conclusion to the Carnival season.”