NEW ORLEANS – The NOPD is currently looking for three men after shots were fired on a crowded Bourbon Street, injuring four people and sending the crowd racing from the scene.
One of the victims - who appeared to be the intended target - was shot three times - once in the abdomen, thigh and pelvic area and is in guarded condition. The other three victims had lesser injuries.
Police said the incident began after an argument between a man and two others in the 400 block of Bourbon Street outside of a strip club.
Video released by the NOPD from an eyewitness on a balcony, shows two men arguing with another man. The NOPD says the two men left and one of them returned with another man and shots were fired, hitting the victim and three other bystanders.
On the videotape, at about 1:36 in, you can distinctly hear four shots fired and then screams in the crowd.
Police say they are looking for three men described as:
Perpetrator #1: B/M approximately 18-22 years of age, medium complexion, 5'07"-5'08" tall with a slim build wearing a black wool beany hat with white stripes.
Perpetrator #2: B/M 20-25 years of age, 5'10" tall with a heavy build, beard and mustache, medium complexion with earrings and wearing a black and white bandana around his head.
Perpetrator #3: B/M 5'08"-5'09" with a heavy build and beard.
In addition to striking the man with whom they were arguing, the suspects' shots hit a man in the rear end, another woman in the chin and foot and a second woman in her toe.
The incident happened in front of the strip club Babe’s Cabaret on a block filled with thousands of revelers in town for Carnival.
The victims, two men and two women, are not associated with the strip club, said police, who have not yet released the victim’s identities. On the Saturday before Mardi Gras, police said the aftermath could have been much worse, crediting heavy police presence in the French Quarter for a quick response. “We had an immediate response, if you look you also see the light tower [which helps officers patrol], we had troopers and officers out on the scene immediately. We were out on the block actually making a gun arrest at the time,” said NOPD 8th District Commander Jeff Walls. Multiple surveillance and cell phone videos are helping police piece together what happened. Officials have already identified a motive, said Walls, although he would not elaborate. He would also not say whether the victims were the intended targets, but did say police are developing leads on a suspect or suspects. Witnesses say a fight broke out and shots rang out before people began to run. “It was just chaos, we were lucky to be high up, so many people got trampled, I saw people get kicked, I saw people getting pushed, we were lucky we were lucky that's all we can say,” said Nicole Paschal, visiting from TX. Another eyewitness said he saw a man with long dreadlocks or braids, dressed in black, drop a gun and then pick it up before running off. The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information that could help police call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. You don’t have to leave your name and could get a cash reward.