Teen victims tell of weekend shooting outside French Quarter

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 5:55 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

NEW ORLEANS- Around midnight Friday night into Saturday morning, two groups of friends ran into each other on Bourbon Street.

Nineteen-year-old Wade Smith had been out with a group, but 15-year-old Markel Kemper, along with 18-year-old Hannah Gonzales and her 19-year-old stepbrother, who knew Smith, were just arriving.

Kemper's mother says her daughter told her she was only going to a sleepover. Several hours later, Smith leaves with the Ponchatoula teens to catch a ride back to his car, but they never made it.

"I just started the car and within 30 seconds to a minute, some guy comes up to my passenger window and puts the gun up to the window," said Gonzales.

Smith told us by phone from his hospital bed, "I'm telling Hannah, you need my address for the GPS. So I was trying to tell her and then out of nowhere three gunshots."

Gonzales says she sped away from the shooter on Governor Nicholls until realizing Smith and Kemper were hit.

Gonzales said, “She's like, 'I think I got shot.’ She didn't even know she got shot and I said, 'What? Are you serious?'" "I was like Landon, did I get shot,’ said Smith, “And he was like, ‘No, no, no, you're fine.’ Then I look at my hands and they were full of blood."

Police say they haven't determined a motive, at this time. Today, both teens are healing. Kemper's mother posts daily updates about the Ponchatoula High cheerleader, while Smith, coincidentally, a coach at a New Orleans Cheer club, says he still feels miserable.

Making both feel better is the support from the community in the form of fundraisers and prayers.

Kemper’s friend Hope Gonzales said, "It's so great seeing such a small town come together. Even people that aren't very close with her are still coming and helping."

"It makes me feel so good just to know that I have people that care for me, like this," said Smith. They're also hoping whoever knows the shooter will help catch them. There are two accounts set up for Markel Kemper and Wade Smith on GoFundMe.com.

There are also two fundraisers to help with their medical bills set up at this time. The first is Thursday, June 26, at both Hammond Raising Cane’s locations, where 15 percent of sales mentioning the teens will go toward a donation. On July 16th, Santa Fe Restaurant, also in Hammond, will be donating 10 percent of all checks. If you have any information on the case, call Crimestoppers at 504-882-1111.

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