Three victims remained in critical condition at a hospital Tuesday as New Orleans officials sought a teenage suspect in the Mother's Day parade shooting that wounded 19 people.
Akein Scott, 19, was named late Monday night as a suspect in the shooting. Police believe he's the young man who stepped into a crowd of passing paradegoers in the city's 7th Ward and opened fire, which was captured on a surveillance camera in the neighborhood.
It is unclear at whom he was firing, and whether the 19 victims, which included a 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl grazed by bullets, were intentional targets.
“We will be looking for Akein Scott for the rest of the night and tomorrow until we find him, and I recommend that Akein turn himself in quickly," New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal W. Serpas said at a news conference Monday night.
"Akein is no stranger to the criminal justice system," Serpas added. "He’s been arrested in the past for resisting arrest, for possession of a firearm, for narcotics charges and the like.”
It's unclear if those arrests resulted in convictions.
Police suspect more than one person was involved, as more than one gun appeared to be used in the shooting. Many of the victims were hit by ricochets, police said.
LSU Public Hospital spokesman Marvin McGraw told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday morning that four victims remained hospitalized; three remained in the intensive care unit in critical condition, though two of those victims were improving, McGraw said.
The city's leaders and community members have worked hard to dissociate the shooting with New Orleans' tradition of "second-line" marches, in which community members walk in the streets behind a band or other honorees.
Second lines, as locals call them, regularly wind through the city on the weekends and have occasionally been marred by violence.
“We came back out here as a community to stand on what we consider to be sacred ground where this tragic event took place yesterday," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a community gathering in the 7th Ward on Monday at the spot where the shooting occurred.
"Everybody on this street knows that what happened yesterday didn’t have anything to do with the cultural beauty of the city of New Orleans. It happened during a sacred event, a second line, that’s part of New Orleans history and culture," Landrieu said.
The specter of gun violence, too, has left its imprint on New Orleans' way of life: One of the 10-year-old victims, Ka'Nard Allen, was also shot in the neck last May at his 10th birthday party, where his cousin Briana Allen, 5, was killed, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Then his father was stabbed and killed in October.
"It was Mother's Day! No one expected that!" his mother, Tynia Allen, told the Times-Picayune. "We went to church first. I cooked breakfast."
Landrieu, speaking to community members Monday, expressed his shock.
"Everybody that’s standing out here today is of like mind when we say that the violence that occurred here yesterday is senseless," Landrieu said. "It doesn’t make any sense at all, it’s unnatural, and it’s not what we accept as a people.”