Two years later, Bunny Friend shooting still has neighbors living in fear

The New Orleans City Council, at the urging of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, introduced a package of ordinances aimed at cracking down on gun violence following the Bunny Friend shooting.

The gates are open, but Upper Ninth Ward children don't play in Bunny Friend park like they used to.

Wednesday morning, the basketball courts were silent. a ball sat on a deserted football field and kids rode their bikes outside the fence.

"I have grandkids," Upper Ninth Ward neighbor Mary Lawrence said. "When they come over here and they want to go to the park and play basketball, it's no. It's no."

Two years ago, ON Nov. 22, 2015, Bunny Friend was the scene of one of the worst mass shootings in New Orleans history.

Gunfire between members of rival drug gangs during a second line after-party sent 17 people to the hospital. None of them died.

Mary Lawrence's daughter and son were among the 300 to 500 people caught in the cross fire.

"I call my daughter on the phone and I say Kita, where you at," Lawrence said. "She said mom, I got to call you back. They was hoping fences and everything. Then my son came running from down there. He was grazed on his side."

Beverly Brown lives across the street from the park.

"They were singing and enjoying themselves and people were dancing and having fun," Brown said. "Then all of a sudden the shooting came along and then all you see is people running, people running."

Neighbors said because of the shooting, the city is now cracking down on the types of events allowed in the park, particularly at night and on weekends.

"They put up lights and the policemen pass the area, regularly, but they don't have no more jams in the park on holidays or nothing like that," Brown said. "It's just a quiet park."

"Actually, they started locking the gate (at night)," Lawrence said. "They never did lock that gate (before)."

Ten men accused of firing at each other and into the crowded playground have since pleaded guilty to assault and gun charges.

"It was a horrible day," Lawrence said. "It really was."

The New Orleans City Council, at the urging of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, introduced a package of ordinances aimed at cracking down on gun violence following the Bunny Friend shooting.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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