Toddler girl dies, 9-year-old injured in separate shootings

Toddler girl dies, 9-year-old injured in separate shootings
Photo provided by WDSU.
Monday, December 19, 2011 - 2:53pm

A girl who was about to turn 2 years old is dead after she was caught by stray bullets during a double shooting. A 9-year-old boy was injured in a separate shooting the same day.

The first shooting happened about 3:30 p.m. in the 6900 block of Salem Drive. Police said when they arrived, they found a 9-year-old boy was suffering from a gunshot wound to his back. He was taken to a nearby hospital where police said he was listed in stable conditions.

Police said that according to a preliminary investigation, the boy was playing in the neighborhood when a man "dressed in all dark clothing" standing alongside an abandoned house in the area began shooting at a passing gold-colored Pontiac. Two men were in the car, police said, and the passenger inside returned fire. Police said the boy was caught in the crossfire.

The men fled in the vehicle in an unknown direction, according to police.

About an hour later another child fell victim to being the crossfire, but this time it was fatal.

Police said at about 4:40 p.m. officers were called to the 3300 block of Erato Street in Central City on Sunday.

Keira Holmes would have turned 2 years old just days after she was killed in a shooting at the B.W. Cooper Housing Development.

Investigators said a 19-year-old man was found lying in the courtyard suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his body. However, just feet away, Keira Holmes, who was four days shy of turning 2 years old, was killed by a gunshot to the head, police said.

The 19-year-old man was taken to the hospital. Police said the toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said a 19-year-old man was walking in the neighborhood when gunmen in two vehicles started shooting at him. The man ran into a crowded courtyard full of kids, but police said the gunmen continued to shoot at the man, killing the girl in the crossfire.

Police said they are looking for a white SUV and gray Honda or Acura in connection with the shooting.

The 19-year-old was arrested on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and distribution of marijuana.

An infuriated New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas criticized the judicial system while police began the investigation.

“The 19-year-old victim has a lengthy rap sheet of illegal drug use and firearms. NOPD arrested him several times, but the judicial system put him right back on the street again and again. And sadly, he was in a neighborhood today with a bunch of kids, and a baby is our latest murder victim," Serpas said. “We can’t let the criminals try to take over our neighborhoods and dictate what we do, how we live. No child should feel scared if he or she wants to go outside in the middle of the day to play. No child in New Orleans -- no child anywhere."

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