Police said a suspect is in custody after one person was killed and four others, including a 4-year-old girl, were injured in a shooting Sunday night on the route of the Mardi Gras parade ahead of a bustling celebration in the city on this week.
The deceased victim is a teenager between the ages of 15 and 18, Acting New Orleans Police Superintendent Michelle Woodfork said at a news conference on Monday. Four other victims, including an 18-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman, were treated in hospitals and were discharged.
The shooting broke out around 21:30 on the highway st. popular Krewe of Bacchus parade — traditionally held in the run-up to this Tuesday’s Mardi Gras celebration — interrupting a typical celebration in New Orleans and highlighting the continued prevalence of gun violence in all places of American life.
New Orleans police and other agencies were already in the area when they heard the shots, Woodfork said. “Within minutes, they apprehended the suspect and found two weapons at the scene,” the superintendent said.
Woodfork identified the detainee as 21-year-old Mansour Mboja, who was arrested for carrying illegal weapons. It was not immediately clear if Mboja had an attorney to comment on his behalf.
“We cannot say who fired the weapon, who was involved in the shooting at this time,” Woodfork said, adding that homicide detectives are looking into the shooting. “We need to wait until we get ballistics results to really be sure which weapons were fired and then who might have been fired.”
Woodfork called the shooting “an isolated incident”. Police are committed to making Mardi Gras a safe and family-friendly event, Woodfork said, noting that police found 112 weapons near parade routes.
She said additional policemen drive around the perimeter of the parades to ensure the safety of participants, urging the public to report to the police if they see someone with a weapon.
There have been 80 mass shootings in the US in 2023, according to the Archive of Gun Violencenon-profit organization that defines mass shootings as shootings of four or more people, not counting the shooter himself.