Elderly Woman Shot, Killed at New Orleans Graduation
Another day, another shooting in New Orleans.
This time, an elderly woman is dead after someone opened fire during a high school graduation ceremony taking place on a college campus.
It happened just before noon on the campus of Xavier University near Interstate 10. Initially, the New Orleans Police Department described the situation as an "aggravated battery" with guns.
According to New Orleans Police Chief Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly, the shooting happened after a fight broke out between two females attending the graduation ceremony for Warren Jeff High School. That shooting, which happened in a parking lot, left three people wounded. The two surviving victims suffered wounds to the shoulder and the leg.
Investigators have not announced the name of the deceased victim.
Initial reports from witnesses say the fight that led to the shooting involved two students of the Warren Jeff School. One witness, a Warren Jeff student who graduated today, said the woman who died was his friend's grandmother. He told WDSU-TV that someone warned him to get away from the area after seeing the two females fighting and guns being pulled. He also told the reporter that he heard between 20 and 25 shots.
"My friend's grandma got shot," the graduate said. "She got shot right there in the street like she was a dog or some (expletive)."
The graduate's mother said this latest case of violence in the Crescent City is enough to make her want to move to another city.
"This is supposed to be a joyous occasion, and it's very sad for us to have to go through something like this," the graduate's mother told WDSU's reporter. "This is horrible. We need to stop the killing, stop the shooting, (and) stop the violence."
You can watch New Orleans Police Chief Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly says several people are in custody, but he did not say if anyone is facing charges. Goodly briefed the media on what investigators know so far. The video of that press conference is below.
Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement expressing his shock over the shooting.
For the second time this graduation season in Louisiana, gun violence has marred what should be an exciting day of celebration for high school graduates, their families and teachers. I hope all Louisianans will join me in prayer for the victims of these pointless acts of violence.
Those who perpetuate these senseless acts of violence will be brought to justice. We must do more to keep our communities safe, and this means we must do more to ensure that those who pose an unacceptable risk of harm to others aren’t able to acquire or keep firearms.
"In light of recent gun violence in Buffalo and Uvalde, gun safety discussions and action involving expanded background checks and red flag laws are very much in order.
New Orleans Public Schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis, Jr., also issued a statement.
"I am outraged and saddened by the callousness shown today outside Xavier University," Dr. Lewis said. "The graduating seniors of Morris Jeff were there to share in their collective achievements and bask in the brightness of their futures--only to have their optimism ripped apart by gun violence. We must come together as a community, as a country, and address the damage caused by access to guns and to get to the root of the anger and despair that compels individuals to even think of harming others."
Other New Orleans residents are also outraged.