Women are more increasingly becoming victims of gun violence in New Orleans

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 5:12 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Three women have lost their lives in separate incidents over the past 24 hours, adding to the concerning rise in the number of female victims across the city.

Two women were shot multiple times in the 1000 block of North Claiborne early Friday morning (May 12). The victims, whose ages and identities have not been disclosed, were rushed to the hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Less than 24 hours before the double murder, another woman, identified only as a mother, was gunned down in the middle of the I-10 Service Road in New Orleans East.


Two women killed in Treme shooting overnight, NOPD says

Woman fatally shot on I-10 Service Road, NOPD says

This year alone has witnessed 12 female victims of homicide, ranging in age from 14 years old to 57, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the killings are not random acts of violence, saying that women are being targeted for various reasons.

“What I will say is none of these acts are random at all and what we have to understand is that women also play a role in violent activity in our city,” Mayor Cantrell said. “Unfortunately, people are involved in criminal activity in our city and it plays out on the streets of New Orleans and it is all genders.”

LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf says historically, women and children were not the primary targets of violence. Yet, something has clearly shifted in recent times.

“Revenge killings... we get whole families involved as collateral damage and that is downright scary. How do we dig out?” Scharf said.

Scharf says 2022 was one of the deadliest years for women in New Orleans since 1996.

The spate of recent murders involving women across New Orleans has caught the attention of Councilwoman Helena Moreno, who expressed concern over the escalating levels of domestic violence reported by advocates.

“They are seeing victims who actually have contract hits out on them by the offender,” Moreno said.

Moreno is calling for stronger enforcement measures regarding firearms.

“We have to make sure that we are going after people who have firearms who should not have them,” she said. “I’m talking about felons and those under protective orders or facing domestic abuse battery charges.”

Scharf agrees, stressing the urgency for increased efforts. He says while domestic violence is certainly a factor, there are other reasons contributing to the higher frequency of female victims.

“The other argument is that this is collateral damage from the drug war, these are hits on family members in the drug war,” he explained.

“We will not rest because at the end of the day it’s traumatizing to everyone and those families,” Mayor Cantrell said. “Those women matter.”

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