An elderly woman was killed and two men were injured when a gunfight broke out on Tuesday at the conclusion of a high school graduation ceremony taking place at Xavier University, in New Orleans, police said.
New Orleans police said they have detained at least three suspects who allegedly opened fire at the parking lot outside the Convocation Center venue once the graduation ceremony ended for Morris Jeff High School seniors.
Police said a fight broke out between two women when someone opened fire, killing the elderly woman and injuring two men, WDSU reported.
Officials said the men had suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot in the shoulder and leg as they were taken to a nearby hospital.
New Orleans Police Department officials added that they had recovered several guns at the scene and that no arrests have been made yet.
One of the many seniors who graduated at the ceremony and witnessed the event told WDSU that the victim was his friends grandmother.
‘My friend’s grandma got shot, man,’ the witness said. ‘She got shot right there in the street like she was a dog or some s***, man.’
Witnesses told Fox 8 that a fight had appeared to broken out following the graduation ceremony, with about five to 12 gunshots allegedly fired as a result.
The senior who spoke with WDSU said family members were taking pictures with the graduates at the parking lot when they started getting concerned about a group fighting near a gazebo in the parking lot.
‘Then my cousin comes over and yells, ‘Run, run run, run. They about to start shooting,” the teen told the news outlet, saying that he heard at least two dozen shots as he ran away from the scene.
NOPD Deputy Supt. Christopher Goodly described the shooting as a ‘senseless act of violence’ and said the incident was still under investigation.
New Orleans City Councilman J. P. Morrell slammed the shooting, which took place in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting and twelve days after three people were shot at another high school graduation ceremony at a Louisiana university.
‘This should’ve been one of the happiest days in these kids’ lives, Morrell tweeted about the latest shooting. ‘Now all their hard work is being overshadowed by another senseless act of gun violence.