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19 hurt at New Orleans parade shooting: police

File picture for illustration only shows a New Orleans Police motorcycle
Nineteen people were hurt in a shooting at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, police said as the US city's mayor vowed to find those responsible. File picture for illustration only shows a New Orleans Police motorcycle

Nineteen people were hurt in a shooting at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, police said as the US city's mayor vowed to find those responsible.

Those wounded by gunfire in the early afternoon incident included 17 adults and two 10-year-olds, the local police department said in a statement.

"Many of the victims were grazed (some by bullets that ricocheted)," it said. "At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening."

The children -- a boy and a girl -- suffered graze wounds and were in good condition while a man and a woman were still in surgery late Sunday.

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters earlier that shots from "maybe two different types of weapons" rang out and police saw three people running away immediately after the shooting.

"It appears that these two or three people just for a reason unknown to us, started shooting at, toward or in the crowd," Serpas said. "It was over in just a couple seconds."

Police were searching for a motive for the shooting and appealed to the public to come forward with any clues. A $2,500 cash reward has been offered to information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible.

"It's just a very tragic day for us," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters after visiting some of the wounded in hospital.

"We will find them," he said. "It really is important in this town for people to step forward now so that we can find people who do this and make sure that they don't hurt innocent victims anymore."

"It is important for us... to change the culture of death on the streets of New Orleans to a culture of life."

The Times-Picayune newspaper quoted Serpas as saying there were about 300 to 400 people in the parade and some 200 people in the area of the shooting.

The newspaper reported that one of its journalists, who was participating in the parade, heard six or seven shots being fired.

It also cited a parade participant as saying that those in the event were throwing teddy bears and candy to watching revelers.

"I think what frustrates all of us is the selfishness of some people, and I think what frustrates all of us is that the great culture of this city sometimes stumbles a bit because of the selfish behavior of some people," Serpas told reporters.

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