New Orleans police tonight said they had identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the weekend shooting that wounded 19 people, including two children, during one of the city's iconic second-line parades.
The identification of Akein Scott of New Orleans as a suspect in the shooting spree came just hours after police had announced an increased reward for information, and Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas made an impassioned plea for witnesses to come forward and "stand with the children."
At the late evening news conference to announce the identity of the suspect, Serpas showed a photograph of the man and warned him: "We know more about you than you think we know."
But he also said it was too early for investigators to say whether they believed Scott was the only shooter. Witnesses and police had said shortly after the shooting Sunday that there could have been as many as three people firing guns during the parade.
Scott has an arrest record that includes resisting arrest, possession of a firearm and narcotics charges, Serpas said, though he did not indicate whether he had ever been convicted.
Police today offered a $10,000 reward and called on citizens to provide them with any photos and video about the Mother's Day shooting.
City and federal investigators are "still trying to determine if there was more than one gunman and more than one weapon," in the city's third such shooting to interrupt a celebration this year, Serpas said.
Video released earlier today shows a crowd running in all directions following gunshots amid an otherwise festive parade. The grainy video appears to show the crowd running from a man in a white shirt and blue pants.
Police said there could potentially be more than one shooter, and that the crime may be gang related.
Investigators are relying on tips from people at the parade who saw or know something about the shootings.
Community members should "choose to stand with children who were injured. Don't choose to stand with the selfish person who fired the gun," Serpas said.
Among the 19 people injured in the shooting were two children, aged 9 and 10.
Since the ATF doubled the reward money from $5,000 to $10,000, Serpas said the number of tips have increased.
No one was killed in Sunday's shooting. Most of the wounds people received were "superficial," the chief said.