February 26, 2017
A suspect is in custody after 28 people were injured on Saturday night when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching a parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans, police said.
Police Chief Michael Harrison said in a press conference after the incident that the suspect, who was traveling in the opposite direction of the parade and struck two vehicles, veered off to the other side from the parade, hitting a number of pedestrians before coming to a stop.
The suspect was described by Harrison as “highly intoxicated”; he is being investigated and is at the DWI office.
Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized, city Emergency Services Director, Dr. Jeff Elder said.
The victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4-years-old to adults in their 30s and 40s, said Elder.
One police officer was stuck by a vehicle, but her injuries do not appear to be life threatening, according to Harrison.
When asked if this was terror related, Harrison said:
“Again, it appears it was a subject who was highly intoxicated who struck a number of vehicles and veered off hitting a number of innocent people.”
A source in the parish government told Fox News earlier in the evening that the suspect was intoxicated and was shouting “kill me” as he was being taken away.
In a statement to FOX 8, the FBI New Orleans division said it is “currently coordinating with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to determine whether a federal violation has occurred.”
Emergency personnel tended to the injured as the parade rolled on nearby.
Twenty-year-old Kourtney McKinnis told the New Orleans Advocate that the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done.
“He was just kind of out of it,” she said.