IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans Shooting Leaves 1 Dead, 9 Hurt: Police

Two women and eight men were shot, one of them fatally, on New Orleans' crowded Bourbon Street.
Image: The scene of the shooting in the early hours of Sunday in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter.
The scene of the shooting in the early hours of Sunday in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter.Megan Mackel / WDSU

Ten people were shot, one of them fatally, in the crowded heart of New Orleans' French Quarter early Sunday, police said.

Shots were fired at around 1:30 a.m. on the famous Bourbon Street at its intersection with Iberville Street, one block from Canal Street.

Forty police officers were already in the same block as part of extra patrols following the earlier Bayou Classic college football game and were able to respond quickly, Superintendent Michael Harrison told NBC station WDSU.

"Shots rang out, we responded," he said, adding it was not clear what triggered the incident.

The shooting appeared to have stemmed from an argument between two men who are not from New Orleans, Harrison said. The argument then turned into a shootout.

Ten victims aged between 20 and 37 were shot, including two women and eight men "one of whom has expired at the hospital," Harrison said. "Our hearts go out to the deceased."

None of the victims were the intended targets.

The victim killed in the shooting was identified as 25-year-old tattoo artist Demontris Toliver of Baton Rouge, according to the New Orleans police department.

Demontris Toliver, 25, of Baton Rouge
Demontris Toliver, 25, of Baton RougeFacebook with permission of the family

Two arrests were made after the shooting for illegal carrying of a firearm, police said. Neither of those individuals are suspects in the incident, but were picked up in a concerted sweep for illegal firearms.

"One of the victims was in possession of a firearm ... another subject, who may or may not be affiliated with this event, was arrested for possession of a firearm," Harrison told WDSU, adding to 11 total arrests for the same offense in the two days after Thanksgiving.

"This is the wrong place to bring firearms, we’ve made that clear," he added. "We are going to pursue this to the fullest extent of the law."

Five of the victims had already been released from the University Medical Center where they were being treated. Four remain in the hospital, but they are expected to make a full recovery.

The Bayou Classic is the annual college football game between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars.

The police department later issued a statement saying detectives were "gathering evidence from the area, including surveillance video footage, as well as interviewing victims and witnesses."

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the shooting senseless and tragic, WDSU reported.

"We're going to pursue these individuals very, very aggressively," Landrieu said. "Totally unacceptable. The violence continues to spin out of control with people brandishing weapons whenever they think they can. It's really unfortunate."

The shooting mirrors another that occurred on Bourbon Street in June 2014. In that incident, a nursing student was killed and nine others were injured. One of the shooters, 22-year-old Trung Le, was sentenced to 60 years in that case. The other suspect remains unidentified.

Mayor Landrieu stressed that gun violence is a longtime issue in the United States, an issue he often discusses. The solution, he said, is an engaged citizenry — an idea of vigilance that he hoped would comfort prospective visitors.

If you want a safe community, you have got to step up to the plate," he said, adding that the city and investigators would do everything possible to arrest the two suspects.

"We will find them, and we will go to the ends of the earth to bring them to justice," he added.