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24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gun battle in crowded New Orleans park leaves 16 people wounded.

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities are still trying to determine what touched off a shootout between two groups of gunmen that wounded 17 people in a crowded New Orleans park, a police spokesman said Monday. The mayor called on witnesses to come forward, but by late Monday morning nobody had offered either video of the shootout or descriptions or IDs of the gunmen, officer Frank Robertson said. Hundreds of people were gathered at a playground for a block party and music video shoot when two groups in the crowd opened fire on each other Sunday evening, police said.

Police were on their way to break up a big crowd at Bunny Friend Playground when gunfire erupted at the park in the city’s 9th Ward, the police said in a statement. That’s just not something you can tolerate in the city,” Landrieu said. “It’s going to require the people who were in this park to basically say they’ve had enough and they’re not going to put themselves in harm’s way and give us information so that the police can do their job,” the mayor said. Photos of the scene showed emergency workers wheeling some of the wounded to ambulances on gurneys while other people who appeared to be in pain lay on the ground. Outside University Medical Center, Kawandra Hayney said she had been driving about two or three blocks from the playground with her daughter when people ran by shooting.

Police spokesman Tyler Gamble said Sunday that neither the block party nor the music video crew had a permit to use the playground named after Henry “Bunny” Friend, who was 18 when he died in 1924. Police had been helping with a parade that had been taking place about a block away from the park and were able to quickly get to the park, Harrison told the TV station.

While reduced numbers of simple robberies and assaults were big enough to create a 4 percent drop in overall violent crime, the numbers of murders, rapes and armed robberies all were up from the previous year. Political opponents have criticised Mr Landrieu for allowing the police force to fall below 1,200 when officials say it should be around 1,600-strong.

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