Five people, including a girl, were shot toward the end of the route of the Krewe of Bacchus parade, part of the annual lead-up to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, police said.
The shooting was reported at 9:30 p.m. at a location toward the end of the parade route in the city, police said. A reporter for NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans was at the scene and said the parade stopped when gunfire broke out.
“I thought it sounded like 20 gunshots,” witness Stacey Morigeau told a WDSU reporter. “It was rapid-fire. And everybody started running.”
Police officials who held an impromptu news conference after the attack said officers were nearby, heard the gunfire, and rushed to the scene, where they found the five victims and two guns.
One suspect was apprehended, police said, but it wasn’t clear if there was more than one shooter or other suspects were involved.
A woman and three others identified as males were also among the victims, according to New Orleans police. It wasn’t clear what led to the violence.
The parade, a major event in carnival season in the city, had been scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. in Uptown New Orleans on Sunday. Mardi Gras is Tuesday.
A police official expressed disappointment and said local law enforcement was doing all it could to ensure a safe Mardi Gras this year.