New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu tries to calm city's nerves in wake of deadliest Mardi Gras shooting in decades _lowres

Advocate staff photo by IAN MCNULTY -- Near the 1200 block of St. Charles Avenue as Muses the procession rolled between Clio and Erato streets.

Keanna Dabney, 29, can’t believe her brother is dead.

Peter Dabney, 21, died Thursday night on the St. Charles Avenue parade route from a gunshot wound to the chest, and his sister fought through tears explaining her brother’s final hours.

“We had seen him just before the parade,” said Dabney. “He had just got off work.”

Peter, who graduated from McDonogh 35 Senior High School, had been working a steady job in construction on a street-repair crew, she said. When work was over Thursday, he came to his mom’s house in Central City, and then went out to enjoy the parades. While standing in the 1200 block of St. Charles Avenue, Peter and a friend were involved in a verbal altercation with some other men, including John Hicks, 19, according to police.

At about 10 p.m., Hicks allegedly shot Peter and his close friend, whose identity authorities have not yet released.

Hicks was arrested within minutes of the shooting by New Orleans police, and he has reportedly confessed. He has been booked with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and the illegal carrying of a firearm on a parade route, according to court records.

Peter’s mother, Sarah Dabney, 56, said her son and the other victim were good friends. She also didn’t think they knew Hicks.

“[Hicks] took something from me that I can never get back,” said Sarah Dabney.

Peter, who had lived in Central City until recently, loved going to the parades and had been going for years. His mother, who didn’t attend Muses, never worried about her son at these events.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with going to the parade with all that security,” she said. “He should’ve been safe.”