NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans police are looking for suspects Wednesday morning in a series of shootings which, even by New Orleans standards, constituted an especially violent day.
There were four brazen shootings across the Crescent City Tuesday in broad daylight.
In all, nine people were shot and three people were killed, including a 5-year-old girl who was attending a birthday party.
The birthday party was taking place at a house in the middle of the 1200 block of Simon Bolivar Avenue early Tuesday evening when the shots rang out.
Esther Anderson, the girl's grandmother, was grieving at her house on Wednesday morning.
"I'll never forget it a day in my life," Anderson said. "Her daddy said these words, 'Lord, my baby over there, my baby over there!'"
The 5-year-old, who was standing next to Anderson at the time of the shooting, was bleeding from a gunshot wound on to Anderson's leg.
"I just buried my son, now my grandbaby...I can't take too much of this," said an extremely distraught Anderson, who noted that she was at her granddaughter's graduation last week.
In a surveillance video released by police, the three suspected gunmen drove up and parked their car, thought to be a four-door Nissan Maxima, and ran away. Seconds later, they dashed back, jumped into the car and drove away rapidly.
Left behind was a tragedy - five people shot at a birthday party. The girl, who was shot in the abdomen, could not be saved by doctors in surgery.
A woman driving to the party was shot and killed when a bullet smashed through the windshield of her car. The boy celebrating his tenth birthday was shot in the leg, and a bullet grazed his face. Two men at the party were also shot, but their injuries were not life threatening.
"It's time to end it. Enough is enough," said Doris Stewart, the victims' great aunt. "One baby dead, one laying in the hospital trying to survive."
The mayor and police chief reacted with fury.
"Clearly the cowardice of these shooters must be and will be overcome by the will of the people of New Orleans. We do know that unfortunately when young children are hurt, people do come forward quick, and they come forward with good information," Chief Ronal Serpas said.
"Both the chief and the commissioner and I and everybody else are calling on everybody who was out here. We've got to find these guys, and we've got to end this violence in the city of New Orleans," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The birthday party incident was the last of four shootings on a terribly violent day:
- In the 500 block of South Gayoso, a man was shot in the head and died.
- Someone was shot in the chest at South Carrollton and D'hemecourt Streets
- In New Orleans East, a man was shot in the neck in the 7100 block of Deanne Street.
Police are asking anyone with information about any of these incidents to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.