The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 17, 2013

Arrests in New Orleans parade shootings cheered

(Continued)

News of the arrests in a case of violence that brought unwanted national attention to the tourist-dependent city was welcomed by San Francisco freelance journalist Mark Hertsgaard, shot in the leg as he watched the parade.

"I love New Orleans and I love anything that helps to heal New Orleans from this event, including bringing justice to the perpetrators," Hertsgaard said Thursday in a telephone interview from his home in San Francisco.

Sunday's shooting happened during a "second line" parade, so called because watchers of the procession of musicians and festively clad marchers often join in, forming a second line of marchers.

Buckner said the Original Big 7 club plans to re-stage the parade on June 1. Sunday's parade drew an estimated 400 along its route through a neighborhood in New Orleans' 7th Ward.

The abrupt end came when bullets started flying in the crowd. Surveillance camera video released early Monday showed one man apparently firing into the crowd, immediately scattering the assembled parade-watchers as some fell to the ground. Police said Akein Scott has been identified by an unnamed witness as the person seen on the video.

In an application for an arrest warrant, police said Shawn Scott is believed to have fired into the crowd from the opposite side of the street, based on an unnamed witness's account of a conversation with Akein Scott.

Their arrests pleased Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who held a news conference at the shooting site Thursday at noon, along with police chief Ronal Serpas and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. Dozens of uniformed officers and an array of police vehicles were in the background at an intersection that is off the beaten path for most tourists but less than two miles from the popular French Quarter.

Landrieu, who strongly promotes the city's tourism industry and its successful hosting of Super Bowls, music festivals and the annual Mardi Gras celebration, said the arrests are the latest evidence of the city's determination to stop the gunplay that mars its image.

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