Shootout wounds five bystanders near New Orleans tourism area

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A gunbattle between police and a suspect on the edge of New Orleans’ French Quarter tourism district left five bystanders wounded on Sunday evening, police said.

Police shot and killed the suspect during the incident, which occurred almost two weeks before the Louisiana city’s renowned Mardi Gras festival.

All of those injured were at a bus stop and one was left in critical condition, New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson told reporters.

Ferguson said officers tried to question a man in connection with recent robberies when he pulled a weapon and opened fire at Canal and Elk streets.

The police shot back, “causing a gunfire exchange” that left the five “innocent bystanders” injured, said the chief.

Gunfire continued down Elk street toward Tulane Avenue where the gunman shot at a police officer, who returned fire at the suspect, who died later in hospital, Ferguson said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and an independent monitor were called in to investigate, he added. It was the latest case to highlight the prevalence of firearms in the United States, where guns were linked to more than 40,000 deaths in 2017.