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Hospital releases 3 New Orleans shooting victims

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm •  Published: February 10, 2013
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Jackie Counte Cooley of Gainesville, Ga., said the shooting was enough to deter her from Bourbon Street, though she was among the revelers packed nearby along Canal Street taking in Sunday's parades.

"It's my first Mardi Gras, and I'm having a good time, but I won't be going to Bourbon street," she said.

New Orleans has been plagued for years by violent crime, including gun violence that has soared since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.

In 2011, sixteen people were shot and at least two killed in Halloween shootings in New Orleans. One of the victims was slain near the Chris Owens nightclub, about a block away from Saturday's incident.

Julia Rosenthal, a 19-year-old from Westchester, N.Y., had mixed feelings about hanging out in the French Quarter after the shooting. "It's not an OK thing that happened, and it's definitely scary. But I'm not going to let it affect my night," she said.

Peter Manabani, an employee at the Rat's Hole bar, said police had shut down a whole Bourbon Street block for an hour to investigate but allowed people to return to the area later.

Hours later on Sunday, there was little evidence that a shooting had occurred. Revelers were in full party mode, packing the block amid a heavy police presence.

Laura Gonzalez, 21, of Baytown, Texas, said it was her first Mardi Gras and she spent some time in the Fat Catz bar nearby as police investigated. She said the bar locked its doors quickly after the shots rang out and wouldn't let anyone in or out while police went to the scene.

Asked if it was frightening, she responded: "Not really. We were just locked in a bar and we weren't going to let this one incident wreck our party."

Parades rolled all day Saturday and Sunday, but none on Bourbon Street because the streets are too narrow. One of the biggest Mardi Gras parades, the Krewe of Endymion, rolled down a major thoroughfare and just skirted Bourbon Street a few hours before the shooting. Typically, once the parades end, partygoers head to the French Quarter. The route for Bacchus on Sunday also came near the French Quarter.

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Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey contributed to this report.