The New Orleans Police Department is investigating a mass shooting that happened early in the morning on Sunday, December 1, 2019. Ten people were injured during the shooting, which occurred along the 700 block of Canal Street around 3:25 a.m. central time, near Bourbon and Royal Streets in the French Quarter.
As of midday on December 2, police had not made any arrests. The reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of a suspect has been raised to $10,000.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Police Chief: The Shooting Was the Result Of an Ongoing Feud Between Individuals & Was Not Domestic Terrorism
Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson explained during a news conference on December 2, 2019, that the shooting was not a case of domestic terrorism. He said that investigators thus far have determined that the shooting was the result of an ongoing feud between individuals.
Chief Ferguson said that his team has also determined that the individuals involved were not from the greater New Orleans Metropolitan area. But he said that they believe that potential suspects are likely from Louisiana.
One person was detained at the scene within minutes after the shooting. But Chief Ferguson said that after reviewing video footage, officers determined that this person had NOT been involved in the shooting and was released.
A weapon was recovered at the scene.
2. The Victims Included Five Men & Five Women; One Victim Was a Teenager
A total of 10 people were shot in the Canal Street shooting. Officials confirmed in a news conference that the victims included one 16-year-old. The other victims were all between the ages of 21 and 36. Five of the victims were male and the other five were female.
All 10 shooting victims are expected to recover from their injuries. At this time, investigators have not yet determined whether any of the victims were also linked to the shooter.
Officials praised the quick action of law enforcement at the scene, which allowed emergency responders to begin treating the victims within two minutes of the shooting.
3. Police Officers Initially Thought They Were Under Attack Due to the Close Proximity of the Gunfire
The New Orleans Police Department had more than 300 officers detailed to provide extra coverage during and after the Bayou Classic football game. The annual event draws about 200,000 people to the city. An additional 50 state troopers, as well as members of federal law enforcement agencies, were also on hand.
Chief Ferguson explained that seven police officers were stationed along the same block where the shooting occurred. He said that the officers initially thought they themselves were being fired upon and took up defensive positions. He praised the team for quickly securing the area after the gunshots started.
Due to the large crowd of people along that block, police were unable to determine who was firing the shots. No members of law enforcement were injured during the melee.
In a statement hours after the shooting, Chief Ferguson described the incident as a “cowardly and senseless act that we cannot and will not tolerate.” He added, “While this investigation is in the very beginning stages, one thing is certain – we will not stop until we identify and arrest those responsible.”
4. The Mayor of New Orleans Praised Law Enforcement For Their ‘Instant & Efficient Response’
Mayor LaToya Cantrell publicly praised the police department for their handling of the shooting and vowed support for the victims.
She said in a statement, “When people resort to gun violence to resolve problems, it never creates solutions — only innocent victims and trauma. The shootings on Canal Street early this morning were an ugly disruption of an otherwise beautiful holiday weekend. We will do everything we can to wrap the victims and their families in our love and support, and to bring the criminals responsible to justice.”
Mayor Cantrell added, “I applaud our public safety team for their instant and efficient response — particularly our @NOPDnews officers who were on the scene within seconds. This tragedy will not define us, and it will not deter us from moving our City forward and keeping our people safe.”
5. Police Are Analyzing Surveillance Footage & Urging Witnesses to Come Forward
Chief Shaun Ferguson explained early on that investigators were working to recover surveillance footage from the scene to determine what happened and identify a potential suspect.
He urged anyone with information to reach out to officers to share what they may have seen. Witnesses are asked to call New Orleans Police at 504-658-6080 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Louisiana State Police and federal officers are assisting the New Orleans Police Department with the investigation.