Gunman arrested after one killed and four – including young girl – wounded in shooting at Mardi Gras parade

A suspected gunman has been arrested after one person was killed and four others, including a young girl, were wounded in a mass shooting at New OrleansMardi Gras parade.

Gunfire erupted along the route of the popular Krewe of Bacchus parade at around 9.30pm on Sunday night, according to New Orleans Police.

Terrified locals and tourists who had gathered for the annual celebration desperately ran from the scene, with photos and videos showing belongings left behind in the street in the rush.

Police Chief Deputy Hans Ganthier said at a press conference that officers responded to the scene and found five victims – three male and two female – suffering from gunshot wounds.

The victims were rushed to hospital where one of the male victims died from his injuries.

The other four victims were in stable condition.

The identities and ages of the victims have not been released but only one – the young girl – is a juvenile, police said.

The suspected gunman was arrested by officers on the scene and two weapons were recovered, said Deputy Ganthier.

“We were able to find two weapons on scene and also apprehended what we believe to be a shooter,” he said, before adding that authorities are not ruling out additional suspects.

“Whether he’s the sole shooter or not, we will determine through investigation.”

The identity of the shooter has also not been released and no motive has been given.

It remains unclear what led up to the shooting and whether or not the suspect and victims knew each other prior to the incident.

Officers on the parade route where the shooting unfolded on Sunday night (WDSU)
Officers on the parade route where the shooting unfolded on Sunday night (WDSU)

Police said they are also working to determine whether any other individuals fired any shots.

The parade – which is traditionally held each year ahead of New Orleans’ main Mardi Gras festivities on Tuesday – resumed after a brief delay.

One eyewitness told local outlet WWL that they saw several clashes among parade-goers where police officers had to step in prior to the shooting unfolding. It remains unclear if any of those incidents are connected in any way to the shooting.

The witness said they then heard at least a dozen gunshots ring out and saw people falling over each other to get away from the scene.

Deputy Ganthier condemned the outbreak of gun violence during what is supposed to be an annual celebration for the city.

“This is really not something we wanted to see. We really wanted this to be a safe Mardi Gras and we’ll continue to work towards that end,” he said.

“However, we really, really want to get the public’s help and if there were other individuals involved, please call Crime Stoppers.”

The Krewe of Bacchus typically draws in thousands of revellers to its 1,600 members and 32 floats, according to the event website.

Sunday’s incident marked the end of yet another weekend where gun violence was rife across the US.

As of 20 February, there has been 80 mass shootings nationwide, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.