Federal agents help investigate shooting that injured 17

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Federal agents are now helping the NOPD investigate the shooting that injured 17 people Sunday at Bunny Friend Playground in the Ninth Ward.

ATF agents were able to recover more shell casings Tuesday. The victims include a 10-year-old boy and a woman who may never walk again.

Neighbor David Jones just wants the gunmen caught and taken off the streets.

"if i did know who it was, I am going to tell it like it is," Jones said. "I ain't holding nothing back because my kids play in that park. So, I mean, I am concerned about my neighborhood and my family."

Police said two groups started shooting at each other Sunday evening, and it may have been gang-related. And while hundreds were there when it started, police said witnesses aren't coming forward.

As the investigation continues, the principal of nearby Akili Academy, Allison Lowe, fought back tears as she talked about her concerns for the children she works with every day.

"In New Orleans of course that's a concern, but, it is very much a reality and it's a harsh reality, and when you choose to work with children you choose to take on that responsibility of knowing you have to be a safe anchor for students every single day, because when they walk into a playground, we don't know what's going to happen," Lowe said.

She said some of her students were likely at Bunny Friend Playground on Sunday, and they may have trouble coping with what they saw. That's why next week she will have help available at school from a group that specializes in helping children and families deal with traumatic events.

"On Monday of next week, I am going to work with the staff and Project Fleur Di Lis to teach our teachers how to talk to kids about violence, which I think is really important. And then we will have people on staff from Project Fleur Di Lis on Tuesday to talk to students about their experiences with violence if they need to talk about it," Lowe said.

As for neighbors, some are afraid for their safety so they don't want to talk about what happened. But not Jones. He said he's glad federal agents are also on the case now.

"Definitely, I'm glad to see they're out, and puts these clowns to justice" Jones said.

New Orleans police are urging witnesses or anyone with information to come forward - call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 if you can help. You could be eligible for a $5,000 reward.

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