Police hunt suspects in mass shooting in New Orleans park

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How did Bunny Friend Park get its name?.

The father of a 10-year-old boy who was among 17 people wounded in a shooting at a New Orleans park says an acquaintance warned him shortly before the shootout. It ended in a neighborhood park where the gunshots drowned out the music, sent 17 people, including a 10-year-old, to the hospital and launched police on a citywide manhunt for the perpetrators. Photographed on Monday, November 23, 2015. (Michael DeMocker, Nola.com / The Times-Picayune) Seventeen people were injured, three critically, when two groups began firing at each other at Bunny Friend Park in the Upper 9th Ward on Sunday night. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said police did not know how many shooters there were. “We are coming after you,” Landrieu said, speaking of the shooters. “We are going to bring every resource to bear to make sure that we find you and that we put you behind bars.” Landrieu and others have said most of the victims were discharged from the hospital, though at least four remained hospitalized, including two in critical condition.

In the early twentieth century, Joseph Friend was a successful businessman and a partner in the local cotton brokerage firm Julius Weiss and Company, Asher writes. In 1924, Henry, his fourth child, swallowed a ball bearing a few months before his nineteenth birthday and required surgery to remove it. “As a result of the operation, he developed adhesions that strangled his liver,” according to the book. Witnesses said the gathering at the playground followed the annual second line parade by the Nine Times Social & Pleasure Club, which took place a block or two from the shooting scene. He died on Feb. 1, 1924. “His grieving parents decided to honor their son, who loved athletics and the outdoors, by memorializing him with a new playground.” That July, a parade with a dozen elaborately decorated floats, each one carrying a child “driver,” were wheeled out to inaugurate the new green space, which previously had been a vacant lot.

Asher writes that children — outfitted as elves, gnomes and fairies — danced around the playground as then-Mayor Andrew McShane made an official speech, declaring the park open. Each parade includes a brass band and street dancing by members wearing brightly colored suits and accessories. “I was back in Baton Rouge by the time I heard about the shooting,” Raymond Williams, 52, one of Nine Times’ founding members, told The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. “It hurt me to think people might connect our event to what happened in Bunny Friend.

It’s a family-oriented parade.” City officials recently touted an encouraging drop in New Orleans’ murder rate — Landrieu in January said the number of murders citywide had reached a 43-year low in 2014, at 150, the lowest since 1971. It was the third consecutive year in which murders had declined, city officials said; 2014 saw the city’s lowest murder rate in over a decade, with 39.6 victims per 100,000 people.

New Orleans police say investigators are still trying to learn who pulled out guns and why they started shooting in a playground crowded with hundreds of people. Cain is charged with shooting Tulane University medical resident Peter Gold, 25, after Gold stopped to help a woman who Cain appeared to be dragging down the street.

The shooting, caught on video, showed the suspect shot Gold in the stomach once and appeared to try shooting him again, at point-blank range, in the head. The fear of rising crime came to a head last summer when three gunmen stormed an upscale restaurant last August, forcing diners to drop to the floor and hand over cash and cellphones. Peter Scharf, a Louisiana State University criminologist, said the cases showed it was “open season on criminal opportunity.” He said post-Katrina gentrification of the city has resulted in crime migrating to “softened targets” in parts of town with more obvious wealth. “Would you rather take on an armed dope dealer who is obviously armed, or some gentrified souls who are probably not armed and probably have more money?” The Post noted that the city has nearly 400 fewer police officers than it did before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and that recruiting is difficult.

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