New Orleans police say at least 19 people, including two children, were wounded after gunmen opened fire at a Mother's Day second-line1 parade on Sunday afternoon.
Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an email that many of the victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren't life-threatening. No deaths were reported; however, three or four victims are believed to be in surgery and their conditions are unknown.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters the parade shooting took place in the city's 7th Ward in a neighborhood comprised of low- and middle-income row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the population in the area was about 60 percent of the pre-Katrina level.
The victims included 10 men, seven women and two 10-year-olds, a boy and a girl.
Serpas told FOX 8 WVUE News the 10-year-old girl suffered a "graze wound." She is in good condition. Investigators say the boy suffered a similar injury and is also in good condition.
Police say the incident happened at about 2 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Frenchmen and Villere streets, and Serpas said the parade procession had been accompanied by officers who watched the gunmen flee.
Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events. As many as 400 people joined in the procession that stretched across about three blocks, though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, Serpas said.
No arrests have been made, but investigators vowed they would come swiftly.
"We'll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood," Serpas said.
At this point, it's unclear what sparked the gunfire.
Police are said to be looking for three people in connection with the attack, and Serpas told the The Times-Picayune it is believed that multiple weapons were used by the trio.
The FBI said that the shooting appeared to be "street violence" and wasn't linked to terrorism.
"It's strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," said spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig.
The shootings took place about 1.5 miles from the heart of the French Quarter and near the Treme neighborhood, which has been the centerpiece for the HBO TV series "Treme."
Sunday's violence comes at a time when the city is struggling to pay for tens of millions of dollars required under a federal consent decree to reform the police department and the city jail.
Shootings at parades and neighborhood celebrations have become more common in recent years as the city has struggled with street crime. Police say gang turf wars often are the root cause.
Late Sunday afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.
A social club called The Original Big 7 organized Sunday's event. The group was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard housing projects, according to its MySpace page.
1A second-line is described as a loose procession of a parade where those who enjoy the band can come together and form a second line in the street to follow and dance.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.