A double shooting in New Orleans near the parade route on Mardi Gras injured two men -- one critically -- and left nearby revelers scrambling.
Police said the shooting occurred near Union and Carondelet streets, about a block from the city's route where krewes like Rex and Zulu roll down St. Charles Avenue.
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One of the victims was struck in the head and is in critical condition, NOPD deputy chief Paul Noel said at the scene. The other victim was hit in the leg and is in stable condition. A fight among 10-12 people proceeded the gunfire.
It's unclear if there was one shooter or more. The shooter(s) fled the scene; no arrests have been made.
Gunfire broke out around 3:15 p.m., with a woman who witnessed it saying one man was was shot in the head and one in the leg. The witness said other men who were with them ran for cover.
The shots came in the same block as the Hilton St. Charles hotel, where viewing stands were filled with guests watching the Elks truck parade.
“We just heard these shots like one after the other and then after that I saw a lot of people running, running away,” said Cristian Orellana, a Loyola student who was watching the parade in the stands.
Orellana said he heard several shots, before hearing a loudspeaker tell everyone to “get down.”
The stands cleared out after that.
“The children were heartbroken. A baby was crying,” said April Stewart, a hostess at Lüke who was working the parade stands.
Orellana said he was “pretty freaked out” and that he’d never been this close to shots before.
Stewart didn’t share those thoughts.
“Every year they’re doing something stupid,” she said.
Staff writer Nick Reimann contributed to this report.