Shooting in New Orleans leads to at least 10 people injured, at least two in critical condition

New Orleans police have detained an individual whose connection to the shooting, if any, remains unclear

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 1, 2019 2:00PM (EST)

Guns stand for sale at a gun show on November 24, 2018 in Naples, Florida. (Getty/Spencer Platt)
Guns stand for sale at a gun show on November 24, 2018 in Naples, Florida. (Getty/Spencer Platt)

Update: Original reports that claimed at least 11 people were injured during the shooting; now reports say that it was at least 10 people.

At least 10 people were injured during a mass shooting that occurred near the French Quarter of New Orleans early on Sunday morning.

The mass shooting occurred on Canal Street, at the 700 block, just before 3:30 AM CT on Sunday, according to the local NBC affiliate WDSU. At a press conference at 5 AM, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said that two of the 10 shooting victims are in critical condition. He also said that "our contingency that we had in place for the Bayou Classic coverage responded to a shooting in the 700 block of Canal. As such, we had officers right there within that very block that actually thought they were being fired upon and took a position to respond to this," according to The Washington Post.

Later on Sunday morning, the New Orleans Police Department's official Twitter account posted that "an individual was detained near the scene. However, their possible involvement in this incident remains under investigation. No arrests have been made at this time. Investigation remains ongoing." On Sunday afternoon, Ferguson tweeted that the shooting was "a cowardly and senseless act" and that "while this investigation is in the very beginning stages, one thing is certain — we will not stop until we identify and arrest those responsible."

In a series of tweets, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that "when people resort to gun violence to resolve problems, it never creates solutions — only innocent victims and trauma." She described the Canal Street shootings as "an ugly disruption of an otherwise beautiful holiday weekend" and said that she applauds "our public safety team for their instant and efficient response — particularly our @NOPDnews officers who were on the scene within seconds. This tragedy will not define us, and it will not deter us from moving our City forward and keeping our people safe."

It is unclear whether the New Orleans shooting will lead to renewed calls for gun control. Data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive found that there have been 385 mass shootings in the United States since the start of 2019, according to CBS News. The data was based on a definition of "mass shooting" that encompasses any shooting in which at least four people were shot, not including the shooter.

In September, after a pair of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump came out against background checks as a method of effective gun control.

"Background checks — I will say that for the most part, sadly, if you look at the last four or five, going back even five or six or seven years — for the most part, as strong as you make your background checks, they would not have stopped any of it," Trump told reporters at the time. Trump's position was consistent with that of the National Rifle Association, which since the 1970s has evolved from being a sportsmen's club into being an advocacy group that opposes a broad range of proposed gun control measures as being ineffective and in violation of the Second Amendment. Legal scholars are sharply divided as to whether gun control measures are unconstitutional.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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