Editor’s note: This post contains graphic photos and video.
NEW ORLEANS (TheBlaze/AP) — Gunmen opened fire Sunday as dozens of people marched in a Mother’s Day second-line parade in New Orleans, wounding at least 19, police said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans, Mary Beth Romig, said the shooting doesn’t appear to be linked to terrorism, but is ” strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans.”
Many of the victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren’t life-threatening, according to a police news release. No deaths were reported.
The victims included 10 men, seven women, a boy and a girl. The children, both 10 years old, were grazed and in good condition. Police said at least two people were in surgery Sunday night.
Officers who were interspersed with the marchers saw three suspects running from the scene in the city’s 7th Ward neighborhood. As many as 400 people joined in the procession that stretched for about 3 blocks, though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, Serpas said.
No arrests had been made as of late afternoon.
“I heard ‘pop-pop’ and I ran…” one woman said, according to WPIX-New York video. “Innocent people was hurt. Half of them didn’t even know they was shot, you know?”
Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned and are sometimes described as moving block parties.
A social club called The Original Big 7 organized Sunday’s event. The group was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard housing projects, according to its MySpace page.
The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighborhood’s population was about 60 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina level.
Police vowed to make swift arrests.
“We’ll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood,” Serpas said.
In the late afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.
WPIX-New York has more on the story, including horrifying cell phone video from the scene (warning: extremely graphic content):
This is a breaking news story. Updates will be added.