SLIDELL, La. – A second person has died by gunshots fired into a crowd during a fight at closing time early Thursday in Slidell’s bar district.
Police said eight people were shot in the incident. One died at the scene and another who was initially listed in critical condition died later Thursday morning. The other six are in stable or guarded condition at hospitals in Slidell and the New Orleans metro area, authorities said.
During an afternoon news conference, The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1cUnKsN) police identified the men who died as 22-year-old Errol Scott and 23-year-old Mark Womack, both from Slidell.
Police Chief Randy Smith says Scott was a target, while Womack was an innocent bystander.
Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said gunshots rang out around 1:30 a.m. Thursday as the bars were closing. Slidell police said witnesses reported there was fighting near the intersection of First and Cousin streets and that during that altercation several gunshots were fired into the crowd.
Adam Cannon, 27, told the newspaper he was with friends at one of the area’s bars, Shooters, and headed outside when it closed. He said there had been a few altercations inside the bar during the night and they started up again outside in the street. Cannon said there were a lot of people outside the bar.
“Everything was moving so fast. I heard gunfire and took off,” he said. “I didn’t see anything – I just heard the shots. I just kept running.”
Cannon’s mother, Valerie Cannon, said another son, Quinterol Jackson, was hit in the stomach and leg and was recovering at Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans. Adam Cannon said he came to Jackson’s aid after the gunfire.
“He was bleeding,” Adam Cannon said. “I gave him my shirt to use to try and stop the bleeding. I stayed with him until they put him in the ambulance.'”
Another friend was shot in the foot, he said.
Seuzeneau said authorities believe an “ongoing feud” was re-ignited inside one of the bars and at some point spilled out onto the street. Seuzeneau said police believe there was one shooter.
The shooter fired several shots into a crowd, he said.
The injured were taken to Ocshner Medical Center in Slidell, Slidell Memorial Hospital and to Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans, Seuzeneau said.
“We are confident we will find the person and or persons responsible for the shooting last night,” he said.
Several businesses in the area have surveillance cameras, and Seuzeneau said police are using that footage in their investigation.
Councilwoman Kim Harbison, whose at-large district also includes Olde Towne, said the shooting Thursday was troubling.
“Slidell’s always been a beautiful, wonderful town,” Harbison said. “We have never had a whole lot of trouble.”
Adam Cannon said fights occasionally occur at Shooters, but that nothing ever has happened on the scale of Thursday.
“This was a whole other level,” he said.
2 killed, 6 wounded by guns fired into crowd
Two people were killed and six injured on Thursday in a volley of gunfire after a bar fight spilled out into the streets of Slidell, near New Orleans, police said.
One man died at the scene in the city’s bar district and the other a few hours later in an area hospital. The wounded were reported to be in either stable or guarded condition, Slidell police said.
The two fatalities were identified as Errol Scott, 22, and Mark Womack, 23, police said.
Witnesses said the incident took place in the early morning hours of Thursday as the bars were closing, with shots fired into a crowd of patrons moving out onto the streets.
Police said they had a possible suspect, or suspects, but did not release any names.
“This is an unfortunate, tragic incident,” Police Chief Randy Smith said in a statement.
“We will not stop until the person and/or people responsible for this horrific crime are caught and brought to justice,” Smith said.