In what may have been a shootout hours before the one that erupted Sunday night on Canal Street, a man shot another man to death while being wounded by gunfire himself at a second-line parade in Central City, New Orleans police said.
Norman Lee, 23, was booked on one count of second-degree murder in the slaying of Clarence Mitchell, 34, after he sought treatment for a bullet wound to his ankle and was identified as the same man seen firing a gun on surveillance tape of the deadly shooting, according to police documents filed in court Tuesday.
Investigators stopped short of saying who they believe shot Lee, but he told them he had been shot by someone else. He denied firing a weapon during the incident.
Three people, including Lee, were wounded during the shooting.
New Orleans police did not respond to an email asking whether there were multiple gunmen involved in the incident.
A man was arrested Monday in a Sunday shooting that killed one man and injured another, New Orleans police announced Monday night.
Lee was booked only with shooting Mitchell, whom police have not accused of firing at anyone. Police did not say who may have wounded the third victim, a 79-year-old man who suffered a bullet wound to the leg.
Police wrote that Mitchell was fatally shot in the head while attending a second-line parade in the 2500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard about 1:50 p.m. Sunday. Investigators then learned that two other men there had also been wounded by gunfire and had gone to University Medical Center, according to police, who initially described the incident as a double shooting.
One of the patients was Lee, who claimed he was standing in a crowd when he heard gunshots and realized one had hit him in the right ankle, police said. But detectives suspected there was more to the story when they determined that the Nike Airmax sneakers that Lee wore to the hospital matched a shoeprint next to a trail of blood leading behind a townhome two blocks from the shooting.
In a bush behind that home in the 2500 block of Thalia Street, police found a blue-steel handgun that matched spent, .40-caliber bullet casings at the scene of the shooting.
Homicide Detective Barrett Morton on Monday went to the nearby Guste housing development and reviewed surveillance video that recorded part of the shooting, police said. In the video, Lee is seen firing a blue-steel pistol on King Boulevard toward Freret Street while wearing the same sneakers he would later wear to the hospital.
Lee is then seen walking away as if his right foot was injured before disappearing behind a home in the 2500 block of Thalia, police said. Lee then emerged from behind the home, walked out of the surveillance system’s sight and later arrived at University Medical Center with a bullet wound to his ankle.
Morton obtained a warrant to arrest Lee, who was booked into the city's jail while wearing his hospital gown.
Lee's bail was set Tuesday at $400,000.
Later Sunday, about 6:45 p.m., police in the Central Business District fatally shot a man who they said fired at them first. Five bystanders waiting at a busy bus stop near Canal Street and Elk Place were wounded by gunfire during the melee, which ended with police killing the gunman on Tulane Avenue about two blocks away.
The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office on Tuesday confirmed that the slain man was Reginald Bursey, 32. He died from multiple bullet wounds to his torso and extremities, the Coroner's Office said.
Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said Tuesday that an internal investigation was continuing into whether the officers' use of force was justified. He said he and Mayor LaToya Cantrell had met with the two victims who remained hospitalized.
He also said investigators were reviewing city crime camera footage of the incident and would decide which portions of it to release to the public, following a protocol that is activated in lethal use-of-force incidents involving NOPD officers.
The CBD shootout capped off a particularly violent weekend in the city. Aside from Mitchell and Bursey, three other men died from gunshot wounds to the head in various parts of New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday.
Morris Irvin, 30, and Irvin Richardson Jr., 31, were killed at Canal and North Claiborne Avenue and in the 600 block of Austerlitz Street, respectively, officials said.
Jajuan Brister, 23, was then killed Sunday night in the 6500 block of Almonaster Avenue. A law enforcement source said Brister's killing may have involved a dispute over a drag race in an area that for years has been plagued by those illegal contests.