Mardi Gras marred as 3 killed, 5 wounded in New Orleans

While truck floats pass behind them, officers point out shell casings as New Orleans Police investigate the shooting of a male in the 2400 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans on the parade route on Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Two shootings earlier Tuesday near the traditional Mardi Gras parade route left several people wounded, New Orleans Police said. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A festive close to Mardi Gras was marred by shootings across New Orleans that left three people dead and five others wounded.

The first two shootings happened in the afternoon, when fights broke out near the traditional parade route.

Deputy Police Superintendent Paul Noel said one man was shot in the head and was in critical condition, while a juvenile boy was in stable condition with a leg wound. Another man shot during a separate fight, and died of two apparent bullet wounds after being rushed to the hospital, Police Chief Michael Harrison said.

The third shooting began as people celebrated late into the evening at a house party in the Lower 9th Ward, about two miles from the parade route. Witnesses described a fusillade of bullets.

Police spokeswoman Ambria Washington said multiple suspects opened fire on a car with five people inside. The gunfire shattered its windows, flattened its front tires and left more than a dozen bullet holes in the driver’s door.

The driver managed to drive to a nearby gas station before two of them died from their wounds. Arriving officers strung up police tape to keep crowds away. At that scene and outside the family home of some of the victims a few blocks away, mourners were still wearing festive Mardi Gras shirts and hats.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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