UK & World News

  • 30 June 2014, 9:37

New Orleans: Nine Hurt In Tourist Area Shooting

Gunmen exchanging fire in the tourist heart of New Orleans have injured nine people - two of them critically.

The attack took place in Bourbon Street in the US city's celebrated French Quarter early on Sunday, causing people to run away in a panic.

New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said the victims were shot "by two cowardly young men trying to hurt each other".

"What happened was two young men got angry at each other and shot at each other," he said.

All nine were attacked just two blocks from historic Jackson Square and just around the corner from the popular Pat O'Brien's piano bar.

Six victims were taken to hospital in stable condition, two were critical and one victim's condition was not available. Some of them were tourists. 

No arrests have been made and no suspects identified.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said there would be a swift response from law enforcement agencies.

He said: "Our number one priority is to keep New Orleans safe.

"These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered ... I am confident that between video evidence and eyewitness accounts, we will bring the perpetrators to justice."

Bourbon Street is New Orleans' most famous street, with an array of jazz bars, strip clubs, and restaurants, making it one of the most popular spots for visiting tourists in the city.

Built on higher ground than most of the city, the French Quarter was spared the worst of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, allowing many of its old buildings to remain largely intact.

The incident was the third major shooting along Bourbon Street in the last three years.

Last February, on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, four people had to be treated at a hospital after a shooting.

In 2011, during the Halloween celebrations, one person was killed and seven others were injured when gunmen opened fire.

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