An impromptu music video shoot at a New Orleans park that was packed with hundreds of people was cut short when gunfire rang out, injuring at least 17 people, officials said.
About 500 people were gathered at Bunny Friend Park in the Upper Ninth Ward for the filming of a music video when the shooting erupted about 6:15 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.
Police officers were already on their way to the park to break up the crowd and the unpermitted party when the gun battle took place, New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said.
“They were about a block away when they heard gunshots rang out,” Harrison told reporters on the scene.
Ten of the victims were taken to area hospitals by ambulance and six went on their own, NOLA.com reported.
Spokesman Frank Robertson said Monday that investigators have also learned of a 17th victim in the shooting, the Associated Press wrote.
None of the injuries that the victims suffered were life-threatening, Robertson said.
Police had not yet named a suspect or suspects, and officials appealed to the public for their help in finding those responsible for the carnage.
“This is a classic case where we need citizen help. People know who did this. People were out here. We need them to come forward and tell us who did this so we can bring these people to justice,” Harrison said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was also on the scene after the shooting, called the incident “infuriating.”
“This is an infuriating circumstance where there are people in this city who continue to threaten the lives of innocent folks that are around and the community really has to stand up and demand that it’s going to stop. The only way we’re going to find out who these guys are—people who know they are—is to come tell us so that we can apprehend them,” Landrieu said.
The shooting followed an annual second line parade by the Nine Times Social & Pleasure Club that took place a few blocks from the scene, which Harrison said was “uneventful.”
He noted the parade was permitted to take place and was staffed heavily by police.
Second line parades are “descendants of the city’s famous jazz funerals and, apart from a casket, mourners and a cemetery visit, they carry many of the same traditions with them as they march down the streets,” FrenchQuarter.com writes.
The city sees “dozens” of second line parades a year put on typically on Sundays in neighborhoods through the city.
They range in size but all include a brass band, dancing and bright outfits.
“You got to stop it, it’s just insane to put the lives of this many innocent people at risk,” Landrieu said Sunday.
“You had a number of different individuals who through no fault of any other people decided to take their fight in the middle of a whole bunch of people and start spraying bullets and that’s just insane,” he continued. “That’s just not acceptable in this city.”
Sunday’s incident is the city’s largest mass shooting since the Mother’s Day second line parade in 2013, where at least 19 people were shot on Frenchman Street in the Seventh Ward, according to reports.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police or can submit tips anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 508.822.1111 or by visiting crimestoppersgno.org.