Lower 9th Ward shooting on Mardi Gras may be gang-related: NOPD


Detectives believe gang violence is to blame for the five-victim shooting in the Lower 9th Ward on Tuesday night (Feb. 13), New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said in a press conference Wednesday. 

The shooting on St. Claude Avenue near Andry Street left two men dead and three others wounded after more than one person shot into the car all five of the victims were riding in, according to NOPD. 

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s office identified 26-year-old Jamar Robinson and 21-year-old Byron Jackson as the two men who were fatally injured. The other three victims were 23, 25 and 26.

Harrison said detectives do not believe the shooting was random, stating it was “linked to vicious gang violence between people who know each other.” He did not give specifics about whether all or any of the victims were connected with gangs, and NOPD did not immediately respond to requests for more information about that.

Although there has been a recent spike in homicides, Harrison said the number of non-fatal shootings in New Orleans has decreased. Harrison attributed the spike in murders in the areas around the 9th Ward and Central City to gang violence. 

The shooting in the 9th Ward was the third reported on Mardi Gras day, with the other two happening in the immediate vicinity of the parade route as the truck floats were rolling by.

The first shooting of the day was reported about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Carondelet and Union streets, about a half-block away from where the parade was rolling. Two teenage boys were injured and police released a photo of the suspect from surveillance footage Tuesday night. 

The second shooting was on St. Charles Avenue near Second Street and was reported about 4:30 p.m. The victim was 29-year-old Maurice Williams, according to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Harrison said police were stationed nearby both shootings and officers were able to react quickly. Police named one suspect in connection to Williams’ killing Wednesday morning and are asking for help finding 21-year-old Eddie Dingle.

Overall, Harrison said 2018 Mardi Gras season was, “safe and successful.”

“We cannot allow yesterday’s tragic events to define who we are or the progress we’ve made,” Harrison said. “In fact, it makes us pursue violent criminals with greater intensity.”

Harrison said NOPD made over 400 arrests during the Mardi Gras season and seized 48 guns from the French Quarter and parade route alone. 

“We are disgusted, but not dismayed or discouraged,” Harrison said.



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