“Something happen here, or they just block it off for the parade?” one man asked from behind police tape on Canal Street on Wednesday. Something had happened – the second shooting in as many days in the heart of New Orleans put one man in the hospital and another in handcuffs.
Police said that around 2:40 p.m., 24-year-old Jason Lewis and the victim were walking in the 700 block of Canal Street. An argument erupted, police said, and Lewis shot his companion once in the face just outside the Fro-Yo Café.
The victim, 24, ran into the Zydeco Jambalaya Shop just below Bourbon on Canal Street and shouted “I got shot!” Efrem Hirpaye, who was manning the counter, said that the man pulled a bottle of water from a refrigerator then sat on the ground. An ambulance quickly arrived and took him to a hospital, where his condition was stable. Hirpaye said he appeared to have suffered a graze wound.
Lewis, meanwhile, took off running up Canal Street toward Burgundy Street, and was quickly arrested there by an 8th District officer. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said police were already in the area in preparation for the Krewe of Druids and the Krewe of Nix, which were both scheduled to parade Wednesday evening.
The entire incident, Harrison said, was caught on video. Police were not sure as of Wednesday evening whether the two men knew each other before the shooting.
?Warning: This video contains graphic images.
Barry Landsberg, a tourist visiting town from Toronto, said he heard what sounded like three shots from his room in the Ritz-Carlton. He said he wasn’t worried.
“I travel the world. I’ve been in Istanbul when there’s bombings, and Jakarta. Can’t live that way,” Landsberg said.
The Canal Street shooting happened one day after, almost to the minute, of a shooting in the 100 block of South Rampart Street that left another man – also 24 – with critical injuries from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police released a video of two men running from the scene who they said were suspects.