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More Than 16 People Were Shot Near a New Orleans Playground on Sunday

A block party where a music video was being filmed was disrupted by gunfire, and police are searching for the perpetrators.

Bunny Friend Park, where the shooting occurred. Screenshot via Google Streetview

This article originally appeared on VICE US

On Sunday night, about 500 people gathered in a New Orleans park to participate in the filming a music video at a block party. But what began as a peaceful gathering in the Upper Ninth Ward turned violent just after 18.00, when gunfire broke out, injuring at least 17 people. While there are no reported deaths, ten victims have been hospitalized, and more people continue to report injuries, according to local CBS and NBC affiliates.

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A nearby parade through the neighborhood was ending around that time, adding to the chaos.

"You had a number of different individuals who, through no thought of any other people, decided to take the fight in the middle of a whole bunch of people and start spraying bullets and that's just insane," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told WDSU. A witness told the station that the scene was "like a war."

Police are asking the public for information. "This is a classic case where we need citizens' help," New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael S. Harrison told reporters. "What we need more than anything else is for witnesses to come forward and tell us what they saw." Gang violence has not been ruled out as a motive. The police have called a press conference to be held at 14.00 local time.

The mass shooting comes at a time when the New Orleans murder rate is falling, though some residents remain frustrated about the violence still plaguing African-American neighborhoods, and the murder rate is still high for a city of its size.

The Louisiana city was also rocked by another high-profile shooting that took place this week. On Friday 20th, a 25-year-old Tulane medical student named Peter Gold was shot after he witnessed a woman being dragged from an SUV. After getting out of his vehicle and intervening, Euric Cain, who is 21, allegedly demanded money from him at gunpoint and then shot him in the stomach. Cain also tried to shoot Gold in the head, but the gun malfunctioned, according to the New York Times, which has a video of surveillance footage showing the attack. Gold remains in critical condition at a hospital.

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