NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A series of shootings across New Orleans killed at least four people and wounded 17 others since Friday night.
"It was pretty traumatizing to see two bodies," A man who wishes to remain anonymous told FOX 8.
He said he was sitting with friends in his backyard Sunday evening on South Lopez Street, when he heard gunshots.
"We were having a barbecue and just heard 15 to 20 really rhythmic gunshots, and so I immediately hit the group and then all waited maybe 10, 15 seconds and then crawled in the back door and hid in the back," he said.
He said he called 911 immediately.
"We saw two bodies on the ground outside. One of them was still kind of moving a little bit, but then the other one was definitely dead, and there was a man that was a few houses down leaning against a fence that was definitely shot in the leg. You could see the blood on the floor here where he was dragging his leg," he said.
Then just before 1 a.m. Monday, another shooting under the I-10 bridge where business owners say more than two dozen shots rang out.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows people running from under the bridge near Claiborne and Columbus, some ducking behind a Ford pick-up, to hide from the gunshots.
The business owner said people usually gather under the bridge on Sundays until the virus hit, and this was the first weekend people gathered again.
Witnesses believe the shooting resulted from an argument between two women.
Mayor Latoya Cantrell says she was excited about Phase Two, but disappointed to hear about the number of shootings that came with it.
"One of the things I did not expect is the level of violence that we did see over the weekend," Cantrell said.
LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf says the weekend's shootings may be a reflection of rising tensions, or a larger problem.
"Was this a one off? Just the perfect storm, or are there underlying structural trends? My answer is both," Scharf said.
He worries police focus on COVID-19 and protest enforcements may lead to more violence.
"Can you do all that and not sacrifice patrol in different areas, and could gang violence and individual violence, could that increase because police are diverted elsewhere?" Scharf said.
FOX 8 reached out to the NOPD for more information about the shootings and concerns, but did not hear back.