Posted on February 9, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl
NEW ORLEANS – A busy block of Bourbon Street was shut down Saturday night as police investigated a shooting that injured four people during the height of Carnival revelry.
One victim is in critical condition, while three others are suffering non life-threatening graze wounds after shots rang out in the 400 block of Bourbon Street just before 9:30 p.m. Saturday, said police.
It happened in front of the strip club Babe’s Cabaret on a block filled with thousands of revelers in town for Carnival.
The victims, two men and two women, are not associated with the strip club, said police, who have not yet released the victim’s identities.
On the Saturday before Mardi Gras, police said the aftermath could have been much worse, crediting heavy police presence in the French Quarter for a quick response.
“We had an immediate response, if you look you also see the light tower [which helps officers patrol], we had troopers and officers out on the scene immediately. We were out on the block actually making a gun arrest at the time,” said NOPD 8th District Commander Jeff Walls.
Multiple surveillance and cell phone videos are helping police piece together what happened. Officials have already identified a motive, said Walls, although he would not elaborate. He would also not say whether the victims were the intended targets, but did say police are developing leads on a suspect or suspects.
Witnesses say a fight broke out and shots rang out before people began to run.
“It was just chaos, we were lucky to be high up, so many people got trampled, I saw people get kicked, I saw people getting pushed, we were lucky we were lucky that's all we can say,” said Nicole Paschal, visiting from TX.
Another eyewitness said he saw a man with long dreadlocks or braids, dressed in black, drop a gun and then pick it up before running off.
The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information that could help police call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. You don’t have to leave your name and could get a cash reward.