NEW ORLEANS - Just a few miles from where crews took down the statue of Gen. PGT Beauregard in New Orleans, shots rang out 5 times in less than 10 hours.
The first shooting came around 5 p.m. when a man was murdered in the front yard of the Mount Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church in the 3700 block of Louisa Street.
Pastor Darrick Johnson said it just goes to show how times have changed in his Ninth Ward community.
"I was totally surprised because that has never happened in the 50 years of existence of this church, it has never happened in front of this church," Johnson said.
The other shootings happened between 5 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., in the 1800 block of Forstall Street, at the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Alvar Street, in the 1200 block of Feliciana Street, where a man was gun downed and killed in the door way of a home and in the 2200 block of North Galvez Street.
A man who did not want to be identified heard the shots on North Galvez.
"Innocent people getting hit," he said. "There's just too much, you know what I'm saying."
All of the shootings happened in the NOPD's Fifth District in the Seventh and Ninth Wards.
"It was really within a nine-hour span that all of the shootings happened," WWL-TV Crime Analyst Jeff Asher said. "It was a lot of violence concentrated area. "Five shootings in one (police) district is really a rare thing."
The overnight shootings caught the attention of the lone city council member to vote against the monuments' removal.
Stacy Head Tweeted: "This is unacceptable. We need to refocus as a community on issues that really matter."
Head later clarified her statement, "We face many real issues as a city, not the least of which is an unacceptable crime rate. I'm concerned that city resources are not fully committed to keeping our citizens safe. I would like to see us come together as a community and refocus on fundamental quality of life issues."
The pastor and unidentified neighbor also spoke about the monuments.
"Concerning the monuments, I understand people have beliefs on both sides of the issue, but I think we need to stop dealing with what divides us instead of what brings us together," Pastor Johnson said. "Because (the shootings) happened in one community doesn't mean it won't happen in your community.
"The monuments, that's dead and gone, we're here now," the neighbor said. "We need help now about all this killing and senseless violence."
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