9 kids wounded in shootout at 12-year-old's birthday party in Louisiana
Police said the most serious injuries were to a 16-year-old shot in the stomach and a 14-year-old wounded in the head
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
LAPLACE, La. — Nine children in Louisiana were shot and wounded over the weekend during an apparent gun battle that erupted at a birthday party for a 12-year-old, reports said.
Most of the injuries among the young partygoers were non-life threatening, and no deaths were reported. As of Tuesday, only two victims remained hospitalized in stable condition but were expected to survive.
The shootout happened Saturday night at a home in LaPlace — about 28 miles west of New Orleans — where an estimated 60 youths showed up and packed into a garage for the celebration.
A heated argument stemming from a previous beef soon flared up between two groups and that's when guns started blazing, authorities said.
St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's officials arrived later to find nine children, mostly teenagers, suffering from gunshot wounds.
"Everybody I saw taken to the ambulance — they were all kids," neighbor Rashad Bolden told WWLTV. "I looked out my window and saw a whole bunch of people scurrying, so I came outside."
Authorities determined that two guns flashed during the altercation.
Among those wounded were a 17-year-old boy shot in the arm; a 16-year-old boy grazed in the ribs; a 15-year-old boy with a graze wound to the ankle; a 15-year-old boy shot in the foot; a 14-year-old boy shot in the leg; a 13-year-old boy shot in the leg; and a 12-year-old shot in both legs.
More seriously injured were a 16-year-old boy shot in the stomach and a 14-year-old boy who was wounded in the head, police said in a statement.
"Of the nine, seven were treated at a local hospital and released. Two remain in the hospital in stable condition," the sheriff's department said in a statement.
So far, no arrests have been made because witnesses at the party have refused to come forward to identify the shooters.
"Not one person has given a formal statement," Sheriff Mike Tregre said in a statement following the incident. "I am asking witnesses to come forward with information to help us learn more about what happened."
An investigation continues.
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