One person was fatally shot and nine were injured during the Bayou Classic weekend in a crowded tourist location in New Orleans, authorities said.
The shooting occurred just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Bourbon and Iberville streets in the city’s French Quarter, New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison told reporters. Harrison said at least 30 officers were patrolling the French Quarter at the time because of the annual college football game.
Police do not know whether the victims — two women and eight men — were targeted or what precipitated the shooting, Harrison said. Two men, including one of the victims, have been arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.
“We’ve made a strong message that this was not the place or time to bring firearms to the French Quarter during the Bayou Classic event or any event,” Harrison said at a news conference early Sunday. “This was not something that should’ve happened. This is the wrong place to bring firearms. We’ve made that clear.”
Harrison said police have arrested 11 people, including the two on Sunday, in the past two days for illegally carrying weapons. The other arrests were not connected to the shooting.
Few details about the victims are available, except that their ages range from 20 to 37. Harrison did not describe the extent of their injuries.
Police shut down Bourbon Street between Iberville and Canal streets after the shooting, according to the Times-Picayune.
Ronnie Buendia, a cashier at a parking garage on Iberville Street, told the paper that he heard four shots.
“Everybody was running into the garage to get away,” he said.
Police did not say whether any of the victims, or the two men who were arrested, knew each other. Harrison said investigators are looking for witnesses and interviewing the injured.
“This is a very tragic and an unacceptable set of circumstances, especially on a night like this,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters.
Thousands go to Bourbon Street for the Bayou Classic, an annual game between two historically black colleges.
About a year ago, a man was fatally shot on Bourbon Street not far from the site of Sunday’s shooting, the Times Picayune reported. That shooting occurred after an argument.
In 2014, 10 people, including a woman who was killed, were shot as tourists walked along Bourbon Street, according to CBS News.
Anyone with information about the Sunday shooting can call Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.