Mardi Gras partying resumes after shooting

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NEW ORLEANS -- Gunshots erupted in a crowd of bead-wearing, drink-carrying late-night revelers on Bourbon Street during the countdown to Mardi Gras, wounding four people and sending bystanders running and screaming. Hours later yesterday, though, the same stretch was packed with partyers who said they weren't letting the violence dampen their fun.

In a video taken by a witness Saturday night, the shootings are preceded by footage of people standing shoulder to shoulder in the tourist district, some holding green plastic cups and wearing gaudy hats or masks. A section of the frame highlighted by police shows people jostling, speaking with angry expressions.

Police said that the video depicts an argument involving one of the shooting victims and the suspects. Four shots are heard in rapid succession, followed by screams as some in the crowd stagger into one another and a nearby wall.

Police said yesterday they were seeking three men and that they've identified one suspect.

The shootings wounded two men and two women, three of whom were treated and released yesterday. One man hit in the abdomen, thigh and pelvis was in stable condition yesterday after surgery the previous night, New Orleans Police spokesman Hilal Williams said.

Another man was shot in the buttocks, a woman was shot on the chin and right foot, and the second woman was shot on the toe, police said.

The shooting came on the last weekend before Mardi Gras, the Fat Tuesday celebration that is the signature tourist event of the year in New Orleans. For thousands, the partying continued despite the shooting. Parades rolled before crowds of onlookers, though the shootings were on the minds of some revelers.

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