Violent weekend strains criminal justice system

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It was a violent weekend across the City of New Orleans, with multiple people shot and killed.

The bloodshed started Thursday with a teen shot in Broadmoor. Over the course of four days, many more people would end up at area hospitals.

"The trauma center has been phenomenally busy," said Dr. Peter DeBlieux, head of the trauma center at LSU Interim Hospital.

As doctors and nurses worked to save the lives of gunshot victims, they found themselves at the center of the violence. On Monday at about 4 a.m., gunshots rang out just behind the hospital. In fact, bullets hit the walkway that doctors use to get from the hospital to an office building. Three people on the ground were injured in the shooting.

While the location of that incident was a surprise, the number of shootings citywide this time of year is predictable, according to Dr. DeBlieux.

"We know in the trauma center that we expect an uptick at the end of May, beginning of June and it kinda carries strong throughout the summer," he said.

Among the victims was a woman was killed in New Orleans East on Friday. That night, a 15-year-old was gunned down celebrating his brother's high school graduation in Gentilly. And on Sunday, a man was killed on Chef Highway.

Advances in technology are helping to keep people alive and prevent the shootings from increasing the city's murder rate.

"Things like early entrance to the operating room, early institution of blood products - those things have really changed outcomes from a positive standpoint," DeBlieux said.

But SUNO criminologist John Penny, Ph.D. said all the gunfire puts a huge strain on the city.

"It ties up the criminal justice system, the police department, it backs up the courts, it overloads and overcrowds jails," said Penny.

So much violence in a matter of days concerns residents.

"I think we should be alarmed at this point," Penny said. "That suggests we are into a summer that is going to be filled with bullets flying, people dying, parents crying, bloods being spilled in the streets."

Police are still working to solve the shootings and murders of the past five days. If you know anything that can help investigators, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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