NEW ORLEANS — Carnival is ramping up and city officials are preparing for a busy season. Last year's festivities were mostly safe, but Fat Tuesday was scarred by a couple of isolated shootings on or near parade routes.
"All of a sudden we heard pop pop and everybody started running," said one witness.
"I grabbed my son and we hit behind that big oak tree right there," said another.
In the Central Business District, a 15-year-old and 16-year-old were both wounded in a shooting. Then, nearly two-hours later on St. Charles Avenue, a man was killed after a fight broke out.
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Now, in the 2019 Carnival season, local, state and federal officials addressed their upcoming safety plans saying this year they are ready and aren't playing around.
"We will be all hands on deck for this event," said Shaun Ferguson, NOPD Superintendent.
"We will dedicate more than 170 troopers to assist the New Orleans Police Department and maintain safety around the French Quarter, CBD, parade routes and roadways," said Col. Kevin Reeves with Louisiana State Police. "Troopers will be assigned to the Mounted Police Division which is new this year."
State Police, NOPD and other agencies will work together patrolling the area in uniform and undercover. Superintendent Ferguson adds those patrols will be in various spots, including streets around parade routes.
"They're not just standing on the route," he said. "We're going to have a contingency behind the route on some of the backstreets and in some areas we know we've had some problems with in the past historically along that St. Charles corridor specifically."
Which is where the one shooting happened. One of two tragedies authorities say should've never taken place.
"Please respect one another, please respect your property and most importantly please leave your guns at home," Ferguson said.