AMardi Gras celebration in Mississippi ended tragically with the death of two people on Sunday afternoon.
Four others were wounded during a shooting that occurred as the St. Paul Carnival Association’s Mardi Gras parade in the town of Pass Christian began to disperse, The Sun Herald reports. Police identified the victims as Carlos Bates, 29, of Gulfport, and Isaiah Major III, 43, of Bay St. Louis. One of the men was reportedly shot in a car and the other on foot. It’s unknown whether the victims knew each other.
Police are having a hard time piecing the sequence of events together due to the overwhelming amount of people on the scene. Calling the incident “chaos,” Police Chief Tim Hendricks said he received a call about a fight just moments after law enforcement heard gunshots two blocks away from the parade. Police believe there were one to two suspects involved in the shooting.
The crowd was estimated to be near 50,000. After a reported 12 shots rang out, many fled in panic.
The Sun Herald reports:
Brian Wileman and several friends heard the shots from about a block away while they visited at a friend’s home on Handy Lane off Davis Avenue just south of the crime scene.
“We were sitting on the porch and I heard pops,” Wileman said. “At first, I thought it was fireworks, but we shoot guns, so I wondered if it was gunshots.
“I had a clear line of sight to a ballfield and I saw 150 to 250 people scattering, running as fast as they could. People just don’t run from fireworks like that.”
“What a great day it had been,” Wileman said. “What a shame. I can’t believe people would bring weapons to a parade.”
Witnesses identified a possible suspect as a Black man running off with a gun. Police are investigating numerous leads.
SOURCE: The Sun Herald | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform