Updated Apr 15, 2024 - News

New Orleans leaders call for better gun control after mass shooting

Photo shows NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, City Council members and top police officials at a press conference.

NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, City Council members and law enforcement leaders gathered at NOPD headquarters Monday, April 15, 2024, to talk about the mass shooting. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

A mass shooting late Sunday in New Orleans killed a woman, injured 11 people and left the city reeling with questions about safety and gun control.

The big picture: Scant details were available Monday about the shooting outside Republic NOLA, including the condition of the hospitalized victims.

  • Authorities also haven't speculated about a possible motive or a description of a shooter or shooters.
  • Family identified the woman who was killed as 24-year-old Jezreel Aquilla Poleate of Harvey, according to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

What he's saying: "Sharon and I are praying for the victims and their families in this tragedy," Gov. Jeff Landry posted on X. "This type of violence has no place in our State."

Photo shows crime scene tape on the ground near a mass shooting scene Monday in New Orleans.
South Peters Street was quiet Monday afternoon in front of Republic NOLA. The doors were locked, the sidewalk had been washed off and crime scene tape and been put in the trash. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Context: This is the second fatal shooting in two weeks at a bar or club in the city.

State of play: Democratic leaders called for gun reform after the latest shooting, with state Sen. Royce Duplessis and City Council President Helena Moreno singling out the state's new concealed carry law.

  • The law, which was approved by the state's Republican majority, allows Louisiana residents 18+ to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. It goes into effect July 4.
  • NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick and Mayor LaToya Cantrell reiterated their displeasure with the law Monday, saying New Orleans should be exempt.
  • But, if that's not possible, Kirkpatrick said, a large section she calls the hospitality zone should be "carved out" or exempt.

How it would work: The French Quarter, the Downtown Development District and the Convention Center would be gun-free zones under a proposed House bill from Democratic state Rep. Alonzo Knox.

  • Republican Sen. Kirk Talbot has a similar bill that's scheduled to be discussed Wednesday in committee. It also includes sporting events.
  • School zones and parade routes are already off limits to guns.
Photo shows the front of Republic NOLA in the 800 block of South Peters Street.
Authorities said they are reviewing security footage from Republic NOLA and other businesses in the area. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Between the lines: It's unclear if the concealed carry law would have made a difference in this shooting.

  • Authorities have not said if the shooter was in the club or on the street.

Yes, but: New Orleans has made progress with reducing fatal and non-fatal shootings over the past year.

  • Homicides are down 40% year over year, according to Jeff Asher with AH Datalytics. Nationally, they are down 20%.

What's next: NOPD is looking into "new ways in which we can attack the problem of guns," NOPD chief deputy superintendent Hans Ganthier said during a press conference Monday.

  • He declined to elaborate but said there's a plan in place.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about the mass shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

  • There's a $5,000 cash reward for tips leading to an arrest.

Editor's note: This story was updated Monday afternoon with additional photos and comments from authorities.

Photo shows three bullet holes in the green, wooden doors of Republic NOLA.
At least three bullet holes were visible in the green wooden doors of Republic NOLA on Monday. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells
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