Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Five teens are recovering from a shooting shortly after a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Central City.

Now NOPD detectives are searching for those responsible and community members are saying enough is enough.

'The way it is up here, if I'm walking down the street with you and talking to you, they don't care if I'm not involved in it,' said Ramon Stevens, who coaches young athletes in Central City.

Drive or walk through the New Orleans community and you'll notice the anti-violence signs that read, 'Stop the violence. I want to grow up.' Direct messages distributed by the Ceasefire New Orleans campaign in an attempt to stop the bloodshed.

However, more shots continue to ring out. On Monday afternoon police responded to a drive-by shooting near the corner of LaSalle Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

'It seems the last three years we've been dealing with this a lot with our kids, trying to keep them off these streets and try to protect them,' said Stevens.

The New Orleans native says he has coached four of the five teens who were hit by gunfire on Monday afternoon in both basketball and football.

'Those kids that are involved in this are good kids. Kids that play football, getting scholarships, trying to do the right thing,' said Larry Francois, whose barber shop and beauty salon is a few blocks from the shooting scene.

The Central City business owner says Martin Luther King Jr. Day should have been focused on peace and not more violence.

'I just thought that whoever did it was totally wrong for doing it. On any day, but on a special day like today, the presidential inauguration, it should never have happened on a day like today,' said Francois.

Tamara Jackson is the executive director of Silence is Violence. The community activist said this latest shooting highlights a bigger problem.

'Many of our young people are just so disconnected. They have no idea of the damage they cause when they engage in violent activities or yet when they become victims,' said Jackson.

As the NOPD tries to crack this latest case, one coach stresses that not much will change unless the entire community gets involved.

'If we have to be in a constant battle of fighting with the city to try and get stuff for these kids to do and these parks and fight for recreational and after school programs, for them it's going to be a revolving door,' said Stevens.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Office declined to comment on Monday's Central City shooting.

Police say all five victims were hospitalized. They are expected to survive.

The NOPD says it plans on releasing surveillance video from the crime scene. If you can help solve this case, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

Read or Share this story: