19 shot at parade on Mother's Day in New Orleans (+video)
19 shot at parade in New Orleans: None of the 19 shot at a Mother's Day parade were fatally wounded, but three people were seriously wounded. Police have offered a $10,000 reward to find the shooters.
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Police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests had been made as of late Sunday.Skip to next paragraph
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Outside the hospital Sunday night, Leonard Temple became teary as he talked about a friend who was in surgery after being shot three times during the parade. Temple was told the man was hit while trying to push his own daughter out of the way.
"People were just hanging out. We were just chilling. And this happened. Bad things always happen to good people," said Temple, who was at the parade but didn't see the shootings.
Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be planned events or impromptu offshoots of other celebrations. They trace their origins to the city's famous jazz funerals.
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 is a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the 7th Ward's population was about 60 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina level.
Sunday's violence comes at a time when the city is struggling to pay for tens of millions of dollars required under federal consent decrees to reform the police department and the city jail.
Shootings at parades and neighborhood celebrations have become more common in recent years as the city has struggled with street crime, sometimes gang-related.
In January, police said a feud resulted in the drive-by shooting that wounded five people about 30 minutes after a parade had passed by on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The next month, four people were shot following an argument in the French Quarter during the last weekend of partying before Mardi Gras. Arrests were made in both cases.
Police vowed to solve Sunday's shooting, too. Serpas said it wasn't clear if particular people in the second line were targeted, or if the shots were fired at random.
"We'll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood," Serpas said.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman and Kevin McGill in New Orleans and AP Radio reporter Jackie Quinn in Washington.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.