NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A group of people who were celebrating a child's birthday and New Year's Eve at a Hollygrove home were robbed at gunpoint by three masked men.
The home invasion happened just after 9 p.m. in the 3400 block of Mistletoe Street. About 14 people were inside at the time, most of them children.
"So I was standing right there, so I saw them come in, but when they came in, he just thought they were friends of my brothers," said a young woman translating for the victims, who speak Spanish but little English.
Police said the men, all wearing black hoodies and armed with handguns, entered through an unlocked door and ransacked the home. At one point, one of the perpetrators opened a closet where the birthday girl, who had just turned 7, was hiding with a woman. He put a gun to the woman's head.
"And then they came up here, my cousin, he was sitting right there, and he held the gun to his neck and he said, 'give me your wallet,'" the woman said. "He told the other two guys - they were kids, actually - to stay there and keep watch of us."
The gunmen demanded money and escaped with wallets, cash and credit cards. Before fleeing on foot down Mistletoe, the gunmen wished the victims "happy holidays."
None of the victims was physically injured in the incident, but an 11-year-old girl was still shaking hours later, the victims said.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest and indictment.