Shaun Ferguson, superintendent of police, said in a news conference Monday that whoever is responsible is not from the New Orleans Metropolitan area.
“This is not a domestic terrorism act,” he said, noting his department is working with agencies throughout the state to identify at least one suspect. “We received several tips to confirm this very intelligence that we’ve received just far.”
The shooting, which was near the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel, occurred while many visitors were in town celebrating the Bayou Classic, an annual football game between longtime rivals Grambling State University and Southern University.
More than 300 New Orleans police officers were assigned to guard visitors, along with 50 additional state troopers outside of the local squad of troops and federal agents — a common practice for the city that hosts other large events such as Essence Fest and the Sugar Bowl.
“On that 700 block of Canal Street, we had six officers along with their supervisor in that very block alone and these individuals still boldly, brazenly and cowardly decided to fire their weapons,” Ferguson said.
Officers responded to the crackle of gunfire around 3:20 a.m. near the French Quarter, Ferguson said Sunday.
Law enforcement quickly secured the scene to allow paramedics to reach victims in need of medical attention.
Police initially reported that a man was detained near the scene, but Ferguson said the throngs made it difficult for officers to determine who was actually firing the shots.
Through surveillance footage, authorities have been able to determine that the detained person had no involvement in the incident, Ferguson said.
Emily Nichols, medical director for the city of New Orleans’s Emergency Medical Services, said emergency responders made contact with shooting victims within two minutes after the 911 call was placed, she said.
EMS workers were able to transport the wounded to University Medical Center New Orleans and two others were sent to Tulane Medical Center that morning.
Two people were reported to be in critical condition with one person suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest and the other with a gunshot wound to the torso, Ferguson said shortly after the incident.
One of the two required surgery Sunday, but that person’s healing is becoming stable. The other critically injured person became stable Sunday, Nichols said.
Officials had previously reported that there were 11 victims, but later revised to 10.
Police are investigating the shooting by recovering various video footage and witness statements. They are also encouraging the public to come forward with any information on the shooting.
“We will not stop until we identify and arrest those responsible,” Ferguson said in a statement.
The reward amount for the case has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted her gratitude for the public safety team and the police department for their “instant and efficient” response to the shooting, professing that the violence won’t derail progress the city has made in reducing violent crime.
“We will do everything we can to wrap the victims and their families in our love and support, and to bring the criminals responsible to justice,” she said.
In 2016, a shooting caused by an argument between two tourists during Bayou Classic weekend resulted in one fatality and the wounding of nine others.