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Two men, two women wounded in Bourbon Street shooting

On Saturday night an argument amongst Mardi Gras revelers resulted in a shooting on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street, wounding four people. New Orleans has struggled with a rise in violent crime and gun violence since Hurricane Katrina.

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Patrick Clay, 21, a Louisiana State University student, told The Times-Picayune that he was standing on the corner of Bourbon Street on Saturday night when suddenly he saw a crowd running and people screaming that there had been a shooting.

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"Everyone immediately started running and the cops immediately started running toward where people were running from," Clay said. "I was with a group of about seven people and at that point, we all just kind of grasped hands and made our way through the crowd as soon as possible."

Some bartenders and revelers said the block of Bourbon Street where the shooting occurred was closed for a time while detectives investigated, but partying resumed hours later across that stretch.

Julia Rosenthal, a 19-year-old from Westchester, N.Y., had mixed feelings about hanging out in the French Quarter after the shooting. "It's not an OK thing that happened, and it's definitely scary. But I'm not going to let it affect my night," she said.

Peter Manabani, an employee at the Rat's Hole bar, said police had shut down a whole Bourbon Street block for an hour to investigate but allowed people to return to the area later.

Hours later on Sunday, there was little evidence that a shooting had occurred. Overnight revelers were in full party mode, packing the block amid a heavy police presence.

Laura Gonzalez, 21, of Baytown, Texas, said it was her first Mardi Gras and she spent some time in the Fat Catz bar nearby as police investigated. She said the bar locked its doors quickly after the shots rang out and wouldn't let anyone in or out while police went to the scene.

Asked if it was frightening, she responded: "Not really. We were just locked in a bar and we weren't going to let this one incident wreck our party."

Parades rolled all day Saturday but none on Bourbon Street because the streets are too narrow. One of the biggest Mardi Gras parades, the Krewe of Endymion, rolled down a major thoroughfare and just skirted Bourbon Street a few hours before the shooting. Typically, once the parades end, partygoers head to the French Quarter.

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