WASHINGTON: Unknown gunmen opened fire at a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans Sunday, wounding 19 people in an inci-dent the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attributed to “street violence.”
Those wounded when gunfire erupted in the early afternoon attack included 17 adults and two 10-year-olds, the local police department said in a statement.
“Many of the victims were grazed [some by bullets that ricocheted],” it said. “At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening.”
The injured children—a boy and a girl—suffered graze wounds and were in good condition while a man and a woman were still in surgery late Sunday.
The FBI said the shooting was unrelated to terrorism.
“From all of our intelligence, we have no reason to believe it was an act of terror, just street violence,” said Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans. But “certainly today was not a normal day in New Orleans.”
The incident comes less than a month after twin bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded more than 260. In December, a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Connec-ticut, killing 20 children and six staff members.
New Orleans Police Depart-ment Supt. Ronal Serpas told reporters that shots from “maybe two different types of weapons” rang out, and that police saw three people running away immediately after the shooting.
Serpas said that up to 400 people were in the parade, which was two to three blocks long, and some 200 people in the area of the shooting.
Police were searching for a motive for the shooting and appealed to the public to come forward with any clues. A cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment rose from US$2,500 to US$10,000 by day’s end.