NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Police tape, orange cones and barricades mark the scene where two men were shot and killed on the Uptown parade route. It happened just after 10 p.m. Thursday night as the Krewe of Muses rolled past St. Charles Avenue and Erato Street.
Police say 19-year-old John Hicks was the shooter.
"Hicks and his friends got into an argument with another group of individuals that turned physical and then deadly," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.
During the fight, Hicks pulled out a gun and started shooting, police said. One victim, 21-year-old Peter Dabney, was hit in the chest and later died in surgery. The second victim, 22-year-old Ivan Williams, was shot in the neck and died Friday morning.
"Immediately when it happened, Commander Goodley exited his vehicle and the joined other officers in pursuit," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Investigators said they saw Hicks running from the scene.
"During the foot chase, the officers observed Hicks throw a black handgun into nearby bushes, where it was recovered by our officers," Harrison said.
"Everybody just scattered. My dad walked that way, and I went to go find him," parade-goer Chelsea Bussy said.
Witnesses describe the scene as chaotic. Harrison said he had 20 officers assigned solely to that area.
"Crime cameras were also strategically placed right there, so when we redesigned our plan, we purposely intended to have those cameras right there, and Popeye's has cameras as well," Harrison said.
In addition to the extra officers, Homeland Security cameras were rolling at the same corner. Police say they're now going through the footage for evidence in the case.
"These Homeland Security cameras were about 30 feet away from where it happened, so you had a large amount of police officers, you had crime cameras and you had a fairly well-lit area," Landrieu said.
Pam Morse and her family were about a half-block away from the shooting, and she said before and after it happened, she felt safe.
"We usually have a lot of police coverage on this block, because a few years back, there were other shootings on either end. We had police here like crazy," Morse said.
Still, Landrieu said it's obvious that violence can happen at any time, and he has a message for the people who come to a parade to cause trouble.
"We're not tolerating this kind of behavior in the City of New Orleans any longer," Landrieu said.