Gunman opens fire, hurts 18 at New Orleans Mother's Day parade

12:13 AM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Gunmen opened fire on dozens of people marching in a Mother's Day neighborhood parade in New Orleans on Sunday, wounding at least 17 people, police said.

Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an email that many of the 17 victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren't life-threatening. No deaths were reported.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that a 10-year-old girl was grazed in the shooting. She was in good condition. He said three or four people were in surgery, but he didn't have their conditions.

As many as 400 people joined in the procession that stretched for about 3 blocks in what's known as a second-line parade, a loose procession in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned and are sometimes described as moving block parties.

Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events. Only about half the participants were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, Serpas said.

Police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests had been made as of late afternoon.

A social club called The Original Big 7 organized Sunday's event. The group was founded in 1996 at a housing project, according to its MySpace page.

The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighborhood's population was about 60% of its level before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

Police vowed to make swift arrests.

"We'll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood," Serpas said.

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

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