Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS- A shooting Friday evening on a bustling street sent patrons of a fast food restaurant running for cover.
And police believe a car found burning across town about an hour later may be connected.
Gun shots rang out just after 5:15 PM in front of the McDonald's in the 900 block of Canal Street.
"I was actually standing in line about to order my food at McDonald's here and I heard gunshots," said Dave Conis outside the fast food chain. "When I turned around, I saw about four people running, including the guy that got shot in the leg. And he just fell down and I ducked in the corner, because I didn't want anyone shooting me."
Police say the17-year-old victim was rushed to the hospital after he was shot in the groin. Officers said he was walking with a group from the Iberville Projects when a late model gold four-door Mercedes-Benz car pulled up, and the front passenger fired shots.
"I overheard someone talking about it had to do with a fight over a female," said Conis.
About an hour later, the gold Mercedes was found burning in the Hollygrove area, near the intersection if Leonidas and Eagle Streets. Police are still investigating to whom it belongs.
Officers believe the teen victim knew the shooter but wasn't the intended target.
Police were called out to a fight in front of the fast-food chain less than half an hour before shots rang out, but left the scene to respond to another call on Canal Street because they thought the fight had cleared. They had this to say when asked if the shooting could have been prevented.
"The officers were here, they were all here, they were here, they were where they were supposed to be, and the officers were actively addressing this issue," said 8th District Commander Jeff Walls.
Police said the victim's injuries aren't life threatening. Authorities are searching for three African American males in connection with the shooting. If you have any information on the shooting, you're asked to call NOPD or Crimestoppers.