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Mass shooting in New Orleans likely gang-related, NOPD says

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Investigators believe the mass shooting on South Claiborne Avenue that left three people dead and seven more injured is gang-related, New Orleans Police said Sunday.

The investigation is still in early stages, according to an NOPD news release, but spokesman Aaron Looney said police have found evidence pointing towards gang-violence.

A law enforcement source told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune that more than one officer with direct knowledge of the investigation said Jeremiah Lee was the intended target of the shooting.

Lee was affiliated with Central City gang 3NG, the source said, and went by the name “Zippa.” The New Orleans Advocate, citing unnamed sources, reported earlier Sunday the shooters’ intended target was Lee and that Lee was affiliated with 3NG. The name 3NG refers to Third and Galvez streets, where the group operated in Central City’s Hoffman Triangle neighborhood.

A man and a woman were pronounced dead in the 3400 block of South Claiborne Avenue, and another man died in the 2800 block of Louisiana Avenue, police said early Sunday.

The man found dead on Claiborne Avenue with multiple gunshot wounds is believed to be the intended target, according to NOPD. The suspects stood over the victim and shot him to death, police said early Sunday.

As of Sunday evening, police have not named any suspects, but said there were two shooters: one armed with a rifle and the other with a handgun. Both were wearing hooded sweatshirts and fled the scene on foot toward Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, NOPD said.

The shooters chased their target into a crowd gathered outside Jazz Daiquiris and Chicken & Watermelon and starting firing, according to Skipper Nichols, who owns the chicken restaurant and watched surveillance video from the scene.

The suspects fired “indiscriminately” into the crowd, striking a total of 10 people, according to NOPD.

Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information concerning the mass shooting. Those offering information will remain anonymous and do not have to testify in court to receive the reward, according to Crimestoppers.