Family and friends on Wednesday hold hands and pray at the scene where four people were shot Tuesday in New Orleans. The shooting was part of a string of violence that rocked New Orleans, leaving three people dead and six others wounded in four separate incidents. (Associated Press)
Bernadine Dwyer, right, cousin of 5-year-old Brianna Anderson, who was killed by gunfire on Tuesday, sits with Kam-Ri Keelen, 2, at the scene where four people were shot, in New Orleans. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:27 PM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stunned and in tears, family members sat on the porch Wednesday where 5-year-old Brianna Allen and her 10-year-old cousin, Kenard Allen, were shot when a trio of gunmen fired into Kenard's birthday party the evening before.
The shootings were part of a string of violence that rocked New Orleans on Tuesday, leaving four people dead — including the little girl — and five others — including her cousin — wounded in separate incidents.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Leo Riles, 18, of New Orleans, turned himself in Wednesday morning as police closed in on him. He was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder.
Authorities are still searching for the other two suspects.
"Where's the bravery and valor in shooting into a crowd of people and then running off like a coward?" Serpas said.
Kenard fell next to Brianna, wounded in his leg and face. Two men were also injured in the shooting, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
"I can't take any more," sobbed Esther Anderson, the blood of her granddaughter still staining her ankle. "I'm not going to wash it off. It's all I have left of our baby."
Neighbors, who did not want their names used, said three young men came around the corner firing a handgun with an oversized clip of bullets and at least one AK-47 with a large "banana clip." Police said they found more than two-dozen shell casings at the scene — one set from an assault rifle, and two from handguns.
Brianna ran to her grandmother when the shooting started, and was clutching her leg, Anderson recalled.
"She fell down on the porch and said, 'Grandma, something's wrong,'" Anderson said. "And when I looked down it was like her little stomach was blown out and her intestines was all on the floor."
Brianna was breathing when she left in an ambulance, family members said, but doctors were unable to save her.
Police believe the two men wounded in the shooting, a 25-year-old man and 19-year-old man, were the targets of the shooting. The men were related to the children shot, but Serpas said they were not cooperating in the investigation.
"They were standing on the neutral ground," Joycelyn Allen, 35, the victims' aunt, said of her nephews. "When the shooting started they ran over here and then the shooting came this way too."
The neighborhood, which still shows the hammering from Hurricane Katrina — an overgrown lot, a boarded up house — has not had such violence before, said relatives who had gathered there for a cook-out on Memorial Day.
But the violence of the city streets, which has seen 76 people killed and at least that many injured in shootings, has hit the family hard before.
Two of Anderson's sons, Lester and Lermondo — both in their 30s — were gunned down. Lester was shot a few blocks away from Anderson's house in October 2010. Lermondo was killed in the hall of his apartment building in 2004.
A woman, the mother of three, who was driving near the party, was also killed when a bullet smashed through her windshield and hit her in the face.
In other shootings, a man was fatally shot in the head and another man sitting on his steps was shot in the stomach during an armed robbery attempt. Police said Wednesday that they had arrested a 13-year-old and 15-year-old in connection with the robbery attempt. The younger suspect, who turned 13 on Tuesday, was identified as the shooter. He was already wearing an ankle bracelet in connection with another arrest.
Serpas said the 13-year-old had a long list of violent offenses.
Three of the incidents happened within an hour of each other. All occurred before dark.
Posted By: bobby On: 5/31/2012
Title: Thank you bobby jindal
where is booby jindal........why does he not do something about this.......can he not do all the great things like a god
Posted By: Necia On: 5/30/2012
Title: Do the work
Put in the time, instill the right values in your children. Work hard to make sure that they respect themselves, you and their community, Teach them how to work hard, how to not expect instant gratiifcation, Teach them that having intergrity and being and honorable person is more important than things. It's our responsibliity as parents, and adults to set a good example. Lets stop talking about how mucn we love our kids and start proving it by the way WE conduct ourselves. Put in the time now, or they'll probably DO time later. (or worse) Then, teach them that when all else fails, pray.The choice it yours