Ken Daley, WAFB, May 31, 2022
A grandmother was fatally shot and two men wounded Tuesday (May 31) when an argument escalated into gunfire in a Xavier University parking lot after a graduation ceremony for Morris Jeff High School, New Orleans police said.
Family members identified the woman that died as the result of the crossfire as 80-year-old Augustine Greenwood.
NOPD Deputy Supt. Christopher Goodly did not disclose the age of the two wounded males, but said their injuries were to the leg and shoulder, respectively, and not considered life-threatening.
Goodly described the incident as a “senseless act of violence,” that began with an argument between two females whose identities and ages were not immediately known. Their argument in the parking lot rapidly escalated until guns were drawn and shots fired, he said. The elderly woman struck was an innocent bystander walking to her family’s car nearby.
“This unfortunate incident did not have to happen,” Goodly said.
Goodly said at least three people were detained for questioning but no arrests had been made.
The shooting occurred in a parking lot outside Convocation Center, used as the venue for numerous high school graduation ceremonies each spring. Witnesses told Fox 8 that anywhere from 5-12 gunshots rang out.
Goodly said investigators were working to determine how many people fired weapons, who they were, and whether they were students, friends or relatives of graduates. He asked that anyone with information on the shooting to contact the NOPD or Crimestoppers.
“Nobody has been arrested for this crime, at this point,” Goodly said.
This was at least the second high school graduation staged at Xavier to be marred by violence in the past 11 days. On May 20, a fight broke out during the Carver High graduation event, with witnesses capturing a wild fracas inside Convocation Center that involved attendees throwing punches and chairs.
Greenwood is New Orleans’ 121st homicide victim in the first 151 days of this year. Less than five months into 2022, the city already has eclipsed the 119 homicide victims recorded in the entirety of 2019.