NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Police on Thursday arrested and charged the second of two street-gang-member brothers suspected of shooting into a New Orleans parade on Mother’s Day and wounding 20 people.
Shawn Scott, 24, was arrested on Thursday, a day after law enforcement captured his 19-year-old brother Akein. Both have been charged with 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder, New Orleans police said.
“There is no question we believe the Scott brothers came here with a purpose, with a plan,” city Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said at a press conference at the site of the Sunday shooting. “There are people we are sure they wanted to hurt.”
Violent crime in New Orleans ranks above the national average in U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation surveys and a 2010 poll found crime to be city residents’ greatest concern.
“Murder and violence continues to hold us back,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters Thursday.
He said cooperation between the police and public led to the swift arrest of the Scott brothers. Police on Monday identified Akein Scott as a suspect and released photos of him from surveillance video, which led to tips from the public and his Wednesday arrest.
“If you keep doing that over and over again, that is called deterrence,” Landrieu said. “Now that you see what it looks like, when it works, if we keep doing it, this city is going to get safe again.”
Police also arrested four other people who were at a home in eastern New Orleans that harbored Akein Scott, Serpas said. Those four are all in custody and charged with aiding the brothers and obstruction of justice.
Akein Scott did not speak at a Thursday morning court hearing, where he appeared in an orange prison jump suit. A judge set his bail at $10 million, or $500,000 for each count.
Officials said 20 people were injured by the shooting at a “second line” community parade, higher than the 19 injures previously reported.
The wounded include a boy and a girl, both aged 10, who were grazed by bullets. Three of the victims remain hospitalized in stable to critical condition. The others have been released.
“Second line” parades, popular in New Orleans African-American neighborhoods, get their name from funerals when community members followed family in the second line of a procession.
In February, four people were wounded in a shooting outside a nightclub in the city’s French Quarter as crowds gathered for Mardi Gras celebrations.
Reporting by Mark Guarino; Writing by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Scott Malone, Greg McCune, G. Crosse and Richard Chang