Shooting At A Mardi Gras Parade Leaves Two Dead, Others Injured
A Mardi Gras Parade that took place just 60 miles from New Orleans in Pass Christian, Mississippi left two dead and at least four others injured after a shooting occurred on Sunday afternoon.
USA Today reports nearly 200 people were in panic mode as they scattered chaotically at gunshot sounds during the annual St. Paul Carnival Association Mardi Gras parade. According to The Sun Herald, this Mardi Gras parade is typically one of the largest parades in Mississippi and this year was the largest since Hurricane Katrina.
Gary Hargrove, the Harrison County Coroner, released the names of the victims as Carlos Bates, 29, of Gulfport, Mississippi, and Isaiah Major III, 43, of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Pass Christian Police Chief Tim Hendricks says family and friends of the injured victims are still waiting for news on their conditions at the Memorial Hospital in Gulfport.
According to The Sun Herald, the bodies of the victims laid only 20 feet apart and have been covered. A women and two children were standing by the yellow tape crying and holding each other.
Brian Wileman and some friends say they heard the shots from a friends home just south of the crime scene, reports the Sun Harold.
“We were sitting on the porch and I heard pops. At first I thought it was fireworks, but we shoot guns, so I wondered if it was gunshots. I had a clear line of sight to a ball field and I saw 150 to 250 people scattering, running as fast as they could. People just don’t run from fireworks like that. What a great day it had been. What a shame. I can’t believe people would bring weapons to a parade.”
Celeste Plaisance wasn’t far away, either.
“I think I heard 12 shots fired. We thought it was fireworks at first.”
Celeste’s home was so close to the crime scene and the dead bodies that the police actually drove through her yard to get to the crime scene. When the fires were shot, Celeste took cover in her home.
Once the investigators were finished documenting the crime scene, funeral home vehicles picked up the bodies.
CBS News reports that Pass Christian has a normal population of about 5,300 and during the parade, nearly 50,000 people were there at the St. Paul Carnival Association’s parade.
The police are still at the scene trying to collect evidence and so far, little information has been provided and no arrests have been made.
(Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)