NEW ORLEANS -- Gun violence, long a problem in New Orleans, has not abated in the New Year, in fact the city has witnessed an alarming number of shootings for the first 18 days of 2017.
In the first 18 days, 47 people have been shot in New Orleans -- nine have been killed by gunfire. Someone has been shot about every 9 hours.
According to crime analyst Jeff Asher, New Orleans has seen increase of 21 more shootings and 3 more murders relative to this point in 2017 year and 17 more relative to the three year average through Jan. 17.
The victims are overwhelmingly male -- 42 of the 46 people shot (91%) were male.
While the average of the victims is 27, several shooting victims have been particularly young.
On Jan. 14, a 5-month-old girl was shot in Algiers. The infant suffered gunshot wounds to the foot and thigh in the 2200 block of Westbend Parkway. According to the New Orleans Police Department, the child and her parents were inside of a car when several men walked up to the car opened fire. The men continue to fire at the car as the family tried to flee, which is when the girl was hit by gunfire.
An 11-year-old boy was one of three people shot in separate shooting incidents in less than two hours in eastern New Orleans Tuesday night -- all three shootings occurred a short distance from each other.
Despite the increased number of shootings, geographically, the shootings are primarily concentrated to a few areas -- areas not often traveled by tourists and in less wealthier parts of the city, which may account for the little publicity the increased gun violence has received.
Of the 46 people shot, 26 (56%) of the them were shot in either the 5th or 7th districts. And the shootings are even further concentrated to certain sections of the two districts.
In a 1.45 sq. mi. part of St. Roch, the 7th Ward and along Florida Avenue, 15 people have been shot in the first 18 days of 2017 -- two people died in the shootings. Six of the shooting incidents involved multiple victims -- 5 double shootings and one triple shooting.
In eastern New Orleans, there has been a similar concentration of shootings. In a 1.65 sq. mi. section of New Orleans East, between Downman Road and Crowder Boulevard and Chef Menteur Highway and Morrison Road, 10 people have been shot within those boundaries. Two of the shootings have been fatal.
A two-block section of New Orleans East -- Warfield Street in between Dale and Reynes street -- has seen a particularly gruesome beginning to 2017, as four people were shot, two killed, in four separate incidents.
Two people were shot on Jan. 2, 18 hours apart, in the 4300 block of Reynes at 1 a.m. and at the intersection of Warfield and Dale streets at 7:15 p.m.
On Jan. 7, Louis Monroe, a 52-year-old man, was shot and killed on Warfield. On Jan. 9, Wilbert Thomas, a 37-year-old man, was shot and killed at Reynes and Warfield streets.