NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Investigators believe drugs were the motive behind a drive-by shooting that killed a man and a teenager and wounded five other people, New Orleans’ police chief said Monday.
Two victims were out of the hospital but three — a 32-year-old woman and boys 2 and 4 years old — remained in critical condition, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
“Children should be, ought to be and will be off limits,” Serpas said.
Terrance McBride, the 33-year-old man who was slain Sunday, was the target and had a gun, police said. The other people were just innocent bystanders, the police chief said.
The Crimestoppers hotline has received a number of tips in response to a $5,000 reward, said the group’s local president, Darlene Cusanza. Officials asked anyone who knows anything about the shooting to call Crimestoppers or police.
“We will find the people who did this, and they will be punished,” said City Councilman James Gray, who represents the Lower 9th Ward. “Someone knows their names; someone knows where they are; someone knows who they are. … Please let us know as quickly as possible so we can take them off the streets.”
The chief and the others spoke outside police headquarters, in front of a big blue banner reading “We’re Hiring. Join NOPD.org.”
The department needs 400 more officers, Serpas said.
The shooting occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday in the Lower 9th Ward, a neighborhood that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and has struggled with crime.
Police have said the victims, including a 13-year-old girl and a 37-year-old woman, were in front of a house when a dark car occupied by men drove up, opened fire and sped off.
Coroner’s spokesman Brian Lapeyrolerie identified the dead teenager as Jasmine Anderson, adding that he hasn’t been able to verify a police statement that she was 18.
In two other, unrelated incidents of weekend violence, a 20-year-old man shot a friend Sunday morning inside a hotel room at the edge of the Quarter, then killed himself after a three-hour standoff with police, and two men were found shot to death early Saturday in a car on Interstate 10.