A gunman apparently wielding an assault rifle sprayed a group of men with bullets Sunday afternoon in Algiers, wounding three and transforming multiple blocks of the Fischer housing development into a bloody crime scene.
The shooting happened about 4:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of Hero Boulevard, according to eyewitnesses.
One man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he watched the events unfold from his front porch.
“I was just sitting and there was this cat running through the alley,” he said. “He came out with the AK-47 and just started shooting. I grabbed my kids and got them inside.”
The man said one of the victims tried to enter a nearby house to escape from the gunfire. The house’s light yellow front door was covered with smudges of blood.
“Those boys are beefing,” the man said.
Officer Hilal Williams, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department, said the three victims, all male, were 19, 21 and 35. She said they were all in stable condition at hospitals.
Williams said a preliminary investigation indicated the three men “were standing outside a residence when someone walked up and began shooting at them.”
Robert Sears, 52, said he was in front of his home about a block away when shots rang out.
“I saw the dude around the corner on the side of the road,” Sears said. After the gunfire ended, he said, Sears loaded one of the victims into his gray Jeep Liberty and whisked him to nearby Ochsner Health Center.
He said the man had been shot numerous times but was alive and coherent on the way to the hospital.
As police taped off an expansive crime scene, Sears washed out the inside of his vehicle, which was drenched in blood. The same was true of his white T-shirt.
“My nerves are still shaking,” he said.
At least 20 light green markers littered the crime scene, indicating the locations of shell casings.
A group of men who were nearby when the shooting began said they heard a barrage of gunfire.
“We were just playing dominoes in the alley and then we hauled ass out of there,” said one of the men, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a fear of retaliation.
“It sounded like a high-powered rifle,” he added.
Williams said it was too early to confirm what sort of weapon was used.
Residents said numerous cameras installed on nearby light poles might provide surveillance footage of the incident.
The shooting wasn’t the first in the neighborhood this year.
Milton Hunt, 28, was killed a block away, in the 2000 block of L.B. Landry Avenue, in January. Police said Hunt was found slumped in a truck with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police have yet to make any arrests or name any suspects in Sunday’s shooting.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.