Increase in mass shootings adds to wave of New Orleans violence, fueled by social media

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The city of New Orleans has been grappling with a surge in violence, with more than 30 individuals falling victim to mass shootings since the beginning of this year. Experts say that criminals are exploiting social media platforms to send messages and boast about their crimes.

One such incident unfolded on Saturday night in Pines Village, where Temera Anderson says about 20 children were playing in a front yard when sudden gunfire erupted, resulting in the shooting of a 14-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man.

Anthony McBride, 17, lost his life at the scene, while a bullet struck 24-year-old Ronnisha Anderson in the head, killing her as she sat in the passenger seat with her six-month-old son and the baby’s father.

“It sounded like over a hundred shots,” Anderson recalled.

More: Young mother killed with infant son in car in New Orleans East quadruple shooting

It’s the eighth mass shooting to take place in New Orleans this year, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission. In total, 20 people have been shot, and 13 lives were claimed in these violent acts.

“It’s really just horrific what’s happening in our city,” said Council Vice President Helena Moreno.

The Metropolitan Crime Commission’s President, Rafael Goyeneche, highlights the concerning display of social media posts, which often showcase kids brandishing firearms.

“The motivation isn’t an armed robbery or a carjacking or even economic game. It is strictly trying to send a message,” Goyeneche says. “That is the social status phenomenon. That is something that gives those young people some notoriety.”

One video of kids waving guns around caught Moreno’s attention.

“It was gut-wrenching, shocking, that you have these children with firearms with extended cartridges,” she said. “One of the little boys looks like he’s 10 years old. I think he had a school uniform on. It’s unreal.”

Goyeneche says social media posts are an indication of what has become a sad situation that seems to be fueling the violence.

“The purpose of those shootings and homicides was not to commit another crime. It was to send a message to the victims that the shooters were dominant,” Goeyeneche said. “That was their statement to their intended targets. ‘Don’t mess with us. Don’t come into our territory.”

The NOPD is actively searching for two gunmen involved in the New Orleans East mass shooting, described as wearing hoodies, with one using a rifle and the other a handgun.

If you know anything that could help police, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click Here to report it. Please include the headline.