Just after noon Wednesday, the Franklin Discount was packed with customers.
Surveillance video shows a customer come in and purchase an item. The man leaves, but seconds later he sees two men coming from around the corner with their guns drawn. In the video, the customer doubles back into the store, and you can see people taking cover.
The man then pulls what police said was a handgun from his right ankle area. By that time, the gunmen were already shooting outside and a bystander getting out of his car was hit twice.
The gunmen then ran up to the front door of the store and opened fire into the store. Police said the customer inside was not hurt.
“I think we need to make it clear people are making the decision to obtain guns illegally, and then use those guns to create harm,” NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.
The NOPD now wants to question the customer about what happened.
This shooting was one of five that occurred Wednesday. Non-fatal shootings across the city are up from last year. As of Dec. 24, 411 people were shot in New Orleans, compared to 341 people shot during the same period in 2015. That’s a 21 percent increase.
“We’re all very concerned, and so we’re working with all of our local, state and federal partners to make sure we have proper deployment strategies that create high visibility, fast response to incidents to make sure we deter as much of that as we can,” Harrison said.
Harrison said his department is using technology and intelligence-led policing to identify high-risk offenders. He also believes it will take all branches of the justice system working together to take criminals off the street.
“So, we’re trying to create the message to carry those guns through swift and hard punishment when we catch them,” he said.