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Nation & World

2 charged in New Orleans parade attack

LOS ANGELES—A pair of brothers were charged with attempting to murder 20 people during a shooting rampage at a parade on Mother’s Day in New Orleans, officials said Thursday. Four other people were arrested on suspicion of harboring the fugitives during an intense manhunt.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr. returned to the street corner near the French Quarter where the shooting took place Sunday during a parade known locally as a second line. Originally officials said 19 people, including two children, were injured, but the toll was revised to 20 on Thursday. Three people remained in critical condition.

“The culture of violence is unnatural and unacceptable,” Landrieu said at a news conference.

Referring to the arrests, which came after tips poured in to officials who had released a surveillance video of the attack, he said, “The people of New Orleans have made this happen because, quite frankly, enough is enough.... There is too much death and violence on the streets of New Orleans.”

The mayor said the city would reclaim the street corner from gang violence.

“We will reclaim this block, reclaim this city. We will not bow down,” he said. “We will not back up.”

Akein Scott, 19, was arrested Wednesday night and his brother Shawn Scott, 24, on Thursday, Serpas said. He said both had connections to local gangs and had a long criminal history, including violence and drug possession and distribution.

Serpas said the brothers worked together on the shootings, which he called an act of cowardice. He said part of the motive was that they “engaged in a criminal lifestyle by choice,” but gave no details on whether he believed the pair were shooting at a specific target.

Each man faces 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder. Akein Scott on Thursday was ordered held on a $10-million bond, $500,000 for each victim. Cannizzaro said his office now has 60 days to decide on the formal charges

The four people accused of helping Akein Scott range in age from 19 to 32, Serpas said, and will be charged as accessories after the fact to attempted second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Police said Akein Scott, who was arrested in the Little Woods section of the city, was the person an unnamed witness had identified from a surveillance video released Monday. Scott already was facing gun and drug possession charges and was out on bond at the time of Sunday’s shootings, officials said.


©2013 Los Angeles Times

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