Family's killing part of violent spike in N.O. shootings

NEW ORLEANS -- Just a few days before a gunman went into a home in Gentilly and shot a mother and her three children, killing all but one little girl, the city experienced one of the longest periods without a shooting.

For 56 hours and 5 minutes, from Mar. 5 to Mar. 8, there was not a single shooting in New Orleans, according to police records.  

For a city that was averaging about two shootings per day, with 151 people shot in the first 69 days of 2017, with 37 killed, this was an extraordinary stretch. 

March had seen shootings tick down after a particularly violent January and February left 73 and 65 victims -- 21 and 12 people killed -- respectively. March also had the second longest period without a shooting 52 hours and 9 nine minutes.  

Just as extraordinary as the 56 hours with a shooting was the rash of gunfire that came next.

The long spell without a shooting ended at 7:34 p.m. on Mar. 8 in the 2000 block of South Claiborne Avenue, when a 20-year-old man was shot and survived.

In the next 51 hours, 8 people were shot, three killed -- a victim every 6.4 hours. (New Orleans is currently averaging a shooting victim every 10.8 hours.)

After the Claiborne shooting, a day later at 4:26 p.m., a 31-year-old man was shot while driving his car on Interstate 10 by the Canal Street Exit. He survived.  Just after midnight Friday, a 25-year-old man was shot at St. Andrew and Brainbard streets. He too survived.

A little over 4 hours after the St. Andrew shooting, the quadruple shooting of a family occurred Friday morning at a home in the 4200 block of Touro Street. That shooting left Monqiue Smith, 30, and two of her children -- Jumyrim Smith, 6, and Justin Simms, 10 -- dead and her daughter injured. It was the worst shootings in terms of fatalities for 2017. (Only the shooting at Third and Dryades streets on Feb. 10 in Central City that left 5 injured and Norma Perez Lino, 37 dead had more victims.)

The violence didn't end at 4200 Touro Street. A male victim was shot in the 9000 block of Hickory Street. The shooting appears to be non-fatal, according to police.

Jumyrim and Justin are the youngest people killed by gunfire in 2017. A 5-month-old shot in the 2200 block of Westbend Parkway is the youngest person shot non-fatally this year.  Most shooting victims are male 129 of 151 (85 percent) and the average age of victims is 27.5. 

"This is horrific," Harrison said from the scene in Gentilly. "This is horrible. It breaks everybody's heart. Every murder breaks a heart."

"To find that children were involved, people were involved, you know, multiple people, we're working to get the answers to all of that, but what we can say, it really rattles everybody," Harrison said. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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