NEW ORLEANS » Hundreds of people were gathered at a New Orleans playground for a music video shoot when two groups in the crowd opened fire on each other, wounding 16 people in the shocking Sunday evening violence, 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 Sunday.
Police said 10 people were taken to the hospital in ambulances while another six were taken in private vehicles. 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.
Joseph Jordan was inside a house across the street from the park with his friend, who gave her first name as Raven, when they heard gunshots. Later someone called Raven and told her that her niece had been shot. The two rushed to the hospital to check on the 14-year-old, who had been shot three times in the leg.
Speaking of the hospital, Jordan said: “It’s still crowded back there.”
Investigators don’t know how serious the wounds are, or what started the shooting, police spokesman Tyler Gamble said. Large stadium lights lit up the park Sunday as police continued to work the crime scene. Witnesses told police that the gunmen ran off after the shooting was over.
The park was crowded with hundreds of people, the police said. Some had walked there after a neighborhood parade had finished earlier that evening and others were watching or taking part in the music video, Gamble said.
Gamble says the video was being made without a permit to use the park.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison told WDSU-TV that the shooting might have been gang-related. Police had been helping with the 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.
This story has been corrected to show that the area where the shooting happened is Bunny Friend Playground, according to the New Orleans Police, not Bunny Friend Park.