WWL-TV reports an argument escalated into gunfire in a Xavier parking lot shortly after the Morris Jeff Community School’s Class of 2022 received their diplomas.
The elderly victim suffered serious injuries and was later pronounced dead, while the two men were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
NOPD Deputy Chief Christopher Goodly confirmed that police have detained at least three people in connection with the shooting.
“This did not have to happen,” Goodly said. “We had a good amount of security here—interior coverage and exterior coverage. Xavier Police were on the scene along with Second District Police.”
One of the graduating seniors spoke to WWL-TV following the shooting.
“We just heard gunshots,” they said. “They were fighting. My cousin said, ‘They’re fighting over there, let’s go.’ Then I heard gunshots.”
Another graduate, who is friends with the grandchild of the woman who was fatally shot, said, “One of my friends’ grandma got shot right in the middle of the street and she didn’t have anything to do with it. She got shot in the head.”
Councilman J. P. Morrell took to Twitter to call for change after “another senseless act of gun violence.”
“The @NOLACityCouncil will continue to prioritize our collective safety to the best of our ability as well as work with our local delegation in #lalege to remove the various preemption measures that prevent local self determination when it comes to protecting our kids in schools,” Morrell wrote.
Morrell went on to say that the New Orleans City Council is working on “additional plans to improve outcomes,” while maintaining that “our current state isn’t acceptable.”
“All that being said, crime in this city is out of control & we remain committed to addressing this as well,” he said. “@NOLACityCouncil is working on solutions to provide additional plans to improve outcomes. We aren’t going in the right direction and our current state isn’t acceptable.”
The shooting arrives on the heels of last Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers. The suspected shooter, later identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, was fatally wounded by police.