When Eric Paulsen of WWL-TV in New Orleans interviewed residents about murder and gun violence in the Big Easy, little did the reporter know he was about to get a front-row seat on how quickly anger can turn physical — and potentially deadly.
Cameras were rolling and Kwame Gates — a rapper known as K-Gates who produced a documentary about violence in the city titled "Murda Capital" — was introducing Paulsen to locals deeply affected by the violence.
One of them was a rapper known as Easy Money, who sat on a stoop with his young son and described wanting to leave the gangsta lifestyle.
“You know, they kind of stereotyped us as a gang when they really was just a group of friends who was trying to do something positive, when they stereotyped us as a gang,” he told Paulsen.
But then right in the middle of one of Gates' responses, a man who used to be in a rap group with Easy Money emerged, WWL reported, walking toward Paulsen and Easy Money and Gates, cursing and making threats.
Paulsen cut the interview short and began to leave, but the camera kept rolling — and it caught the moment Easy Money, his son by his side, and a friend confronted the man. And then the heated exchange was followed by a full-on fight.
Easy Money's friend quickly took down the man, landing numerous punches — and then he noticed his opponent was carrying a gun.
The friend had subdued the man enough that he was able to pull the gun away, and the battle subsided.
And it all took place with the camera operator — and Easy Money's young boy — just feet from the melee.
“I hate to have brought you into that environment," Gates later told Paulsen, adding that it was a "close call because the person who was angry at you and me had a firearm."
Here's the WWL report. (Content warning: Some of the images and language are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.)