A 44-year-old woman was shot in the chest in New Orleans a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday, just a few blocks from where thousands would gather to watch two Carnival parades roll by Wednesday evening.

The woman was sitting on a bench in the 100 block of South Rampart Street near Canal Street when she was hit by what police think was probably a bullet intended for someone else.

The gunman jumped on an RTA bus and fled the scene, police said.

Within an hour of the incident, police arrested Eric French, 18, after a brief struggle on the bus.

They found a small-caliber handgun on him, NOPD 8th District Cmdr. Jeffrey Walls said. He said a small-caliber casing was found at the scene as well.

Walls said police don’t believe the woman struck was the intended victim. The corner where she was sitting is known as a hot spot for drug dealing, he said, “and guns come with drugs.”

The victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with a single gunshot wound, police said, but Walls said her injuries were not life-threatening.

He said French was the lone gunman, although police are looking for other individuals who may know something about the shooting.

French was booked in mid-January on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.