Two 19-year-olds were shot and killed at a party in New Orleans the morning after Christmas, police said.
Officers responded shooting at a “big party” in the city’s Lower 9th Ward just after 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 26, New Orleans Police Capt. Gwen Nolan said during a briefing broadcast by WWLTV.
A 19-year-old man and woman died at the scene, according to a press release from the police department. Rescuers took two 18-year-old men to the hospital. A 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were taken to a local hospital in a private vehicle, according to the release.
The victims have not been publicly named and will be identified by the Orleans Parish Coroner, Nolan said.
Investigators are working to identify the shooter or shooters, Nolan said.
Darlene Cusanza, president and CEO of Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans, said the organization is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.
“When you’re at a party, everyone has their cell phones, we’re taking all these pictures on social media,” she said. “Well, guess what? It takes you seconds to send them to Crimestoppers and it’s done anonymously.’
The Rev. Willie Calhoun, a Baptist minister in New Orleans, also asked community members to help solve the crime.
“These bullets don’t have eyes,” he said. “… If we’re going to do something, it’s going to take the whole community.”
New Orleans has a higher homicide rate
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the number of murders in New Orleans will increase in 2022. They were there 265 murders in the city as of December 18 – approximately 128% more than the same period in 2019 and a 31% increase compared to the same period in 2021. The city hasn’t had that many homicides in the same period since 2003, when there were 274, according to the commission.
According to the commission, as of December 18, non-fatal shootings were up 88% from the same period in 2019, but down 3% from the same period last year.
Anyone with information about the Dec. 26 shooting can contact the New Orleans Police Department’s homicide unit at (504) 658-5300, Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 or toll-free at 1-877-903-7867 , according to police.