6 people shot at popular Uptown New Orleans bar on first weekend of Jazz Fest
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Police are searching for gunmen who left six people injured in what was described as a “shootout” near a popular Uptown New Orleans bar.
New Orleans police said the shooting occurred Friday around 10:17 p.m., wounding patrons of the Balcony Bar & Cafe at 3201 Magazine St. The NOPD initially said four women were injured in the shooting, but after midnight added two men to the list of shooting victims after they arrived seeking hospital treatment in a private vehicle.
The NOPD told Fox 8 on Saturday morning that all of the victims were considered “stable” when treated Friday night, and that “no suspects have been identified or arrests made” as of 9:30 a.m.
Witnesses to the shooting told Fox 8 they heard shots being fired from a vehicle that pulled up alongside the bar on Harmony Street, before it turned and fled down Magazine Street.
Two of those shot were taken for hospital treatment by New Orleans EMS. Four others were taken for hospital treatment in private vehicles. New Orleans police said all of the victims were shot in the “lower body.”
In its first elaboration on what happened, the NOPD early Saturday morning said only that “two groups of subjects” were involved in a “shootout, striking several victims.”
The list of victims included four women (ages 35, 34, 32 and 23), and the 27-year-old and 23-year-old men who showed up later at the hospital with unspecified gunshot wounds.
New Orleans City Councilwoman Lesli Harris, whose District B includes the Garden District neighborhood where the Balcony Bar is located, decried the shooting in statement Saturday morning.
“Fifty rounds were fired on Magazine Street at 10:15 p.m. last night, a night when our city was finally celebrating the return of Jazz Fest,” Harris said. “We have to stop gun violence in New Orleans.
“The City Council released a crime plan almost three months ago, calling for immediate action to address violent crime. Part of that includes using federal funding to get guns off of the streets. It’s imperative that our City administration moves forward on this now.”
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has not issued a statement in response to the mass shooting.
More than 90 people have been murdered in New Orleans since the beginning of the year. It has been one of the city’s deadliest years in decades through the first few months.
Thousands of visitors are in town for the the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The shooting was more than five miles from the Fair Grounds where the festival is staged, but only 2 1/2 miles from the city’s packed downtown and French Quarter hotels.
Witnesses near the scene said they heard the shots fired. Police laid out more than a dozen different crime cones to mark evidence in the area. A pool of blood was visible near the steps to the building, with a trail of blood leading down the sidewalk.
At least one car on Harmony Street was riddled with bullets. Crime scene tape surrounded the area, including a nearby Walgreens and at least one block down each street from the bar. Workers were asked not to leave the business as late as 12:30 a.m.
One witness said he was surprised to hear gunshots in the busy area during a Jazz Fest weekend.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the NOPD’s Sixth District detectives at (504) 658-6060 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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