NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - It’s calmer on Canal Street now, but it was a much more chaotic scene there less than 24 hours ago.
“It wasn’t a pop, pop, pop. It was a pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And that went on for a series of ten seconds non-stop,” says Don Yount with the French Quarter Taskforce.
Yount was patrolling a grocery store in the French Quarter when he heard a series of gunshots.
“There were two down. One of them a little bit down in front of the McDonald’s, one of them a little bit further down.”
According to NOPD, gunfire struck 10 people in the 700 block of Canal St. just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
“Unfortunately, there were so many people out here we were unable to determine who was actually firing shots at that time,” says NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
Chief Ferguson says two people were critically injured, one shot in the chest, the other in the torso. He says extra patrols were out for Bayou Classic and they responded quickly.
“We had officers right there within that very block that actually thought they were being fired upon,” says Chief Ferguson.
Yount describes a chaotic scene and he says it was unclear who the victims were as crowds fled from the gunfire.
“It turned out that during the stampede to get away from the gunshots, she had fallen down and a victim fell on her and she was covered in blood. She thought she was shot as well. And it was later determined she was not a victim, it was actually on of the other victim’s blood.” says Yount.
He says he later saw another victim shot in the leg.
Yount says many of the injured were from out of town.
“I had an opportunity to speak to a lot of relatives and some friends of the victims, and a lot of them were from out of town. So, a lot of the victims on Canal were tourists.”
Mayor Latoya Cantrel issued a statement saying in part, “The shootings on Canal St. early this morning were an ugly disruption of an otherwise beautiful holiday weekend. We will do everything we can to bring the criminals responsible to justice.”
Fortunately, no officers were hurt in the shooting.
Police say they are currently going through witness statements and surveillance video.
Anyone with information is asked to contact them or Crimestoppers.