NEWORLEANS- The memorial for victims of Sunday's mass shooting in the Lower Ninth Ward is growing and so is support for the families of the two dead and five injured.
According to police, Alanna Romain and her two small children, 4-year-old Kyle and 2-year-old Jamal remain in critical condition. The boys were shot in the head. Alanna reportedly has a gunshot wound to the stomach.
'Gun violence in New Orleans really needs to stop,' said James Spears, Alanna's co-worker at the Bourbon Heat Restaurant and Bar in the French Quarter. 'It's out of control.'
'We know she didn't have anything to do with it,' said another co-worker Cynthia Spears. 'It's like all these innocent people and then it's kids too, you know. It's just really sad.'
Bourbon Heat is now sponsoring a benefit concert to help out with Romain's medical and other expenses. The line-up includes Kermit Ruffins, Rockin' Dopsie and Guitar Slim.
'Please come out,' said Cynthia Spears. 'Please, as many people come out and help support the benefit for her. We'll all be here, everybody here loves her and if you guys knew her, you would love her too.'
'By me knowing who she is and this happening to her kids, it's just heartbreaking,' said James Spears.
'I can't understand why would anybody want to do something like this to two kids.' Joshua Williams
NOLA Graphics and Design is also helping out. He designed a special t-shirt the staff at Bourbon Heat will be wearing at Wednesday's benefit. 'I lost a daughter at 3 years old,' said Williams. 'So, I know the child, the pain of a child is hard.'
The benefit concert is now scheduled to begin at 6:00 Wednesday night. Bourbon Heat is also kicking in 100 percent of its profits on Wednesday to help Romain and her family.
Alanna's father Wayne Romain released a statement about the outpouring of support:
First, we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during what has been a horrific time for our family, the families of the other victims, and anyone who cares about and loves our City. On Sunday, August 9, 2014, four of our family members were shot, three critically injured, in an explosion of gunfire that has left us horrified and heartsick. Like so many before us, our family members were innocent victims, bystanders, sitting on their front porch, enjoying a late summer evening with family and friends. That evening, two persons lost their lives. Today, three of our family members remain hospitalized. The two youngest surviving victims are 2 and 4 years old. The two year old has suffered serious brain injuries. The four year will be permanently blind for the rest of his life. We are trying to make sense of something that is senseless. We are trying to understand something for which there is really no understanding. This City belongs to us, the law-abiding and tax paying citizens who live, work, and raise our families here, not the criminals. These senseless killings and shootings have to stop. How many other families have to go through what we're going through before this ends? We greatly appreciate all the concern and love which has been shown to us and the other families during this time. We also request that our privacy be respected as we deal with the new reality of the challenges our children are facing and focus our attention and energy to their healing. We urge anyone who has any information about this terrible event to please contact the police so that the people who are responsible are held accountable for their actions.