Cops name suspect in Mother's Day shooting
NEW ORLEANS -- Police late Monday identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the shooting of about 20 people during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, saying several people had identified him as the gunman captured by surveillance camera videos.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said officers were looking for Akein Scott of New Orleans. Serpas said it was too early to say whether there was only one shooter.
"We would like to remind the community and Akein Scott that the time has come for him to turn himself in," he said outside police headquarters. "We know more about you than you think we know."
The mass shooting showed again how far the city has to go to shake a persistent culture of violence that belies its festive image. Earlier, police announced a $10,000 reward and released blurry surveillance camera images, which led to several tips from the community.
Serpas said a SWAT team and U.S. marshals served a searched warrant at one location looking for Scott, but didn't locate him.
Angry residents said gun violence -- which has flared at two other city celebrations this year -- goes with the city's other problems such as poverty and urban blight.
Video released early Monday shows a crowd gathered for a boisterous second-line parade suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man, who is in a white T-shirt and dark pants and turns and runs out of frame.
"I saw the guy on the corner, his arm extended, firing into the crowd," said Jarrat Pytell, a medical student. "He was obviously pointing in a specific direction; he wasn't swinging the gun wildly," Pytell said.
Police said Scott has been arrested on charges of illegal carrying of a weapon, possession of a stolen firearm, resisting an officer, contraband to jail, illegal carrying of a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of heroin. It was not immediately clear whether he had been convicted on any of those charges.
Three gunshot victims remained in critical condition Monday, though their wounds didn't appear to be life-threatening. Most of the wounded have been released.
Last night, 100 to 150 people gathered for a unity rally and peace vigil in the wake of Sunday's shootings. Some residents stood in their doorways or on their steps.