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Teen Charged in New Orleans Shooting Makes Court Appearance


Wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles, 19-year-old Akein Scott, the man suspected of opening fire on a Mother’s Day second-line parade in New Orleans and injuring 20 people, appeared in court today before a judge who set his bond at $10 million.

Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen gave Scott $500,000 bond on each of the 20 counts in the Mother’s Day shooting case. Although police had initially said 19 were injured in the shooting, another injury was added today, according to prosecutors.

Scott’s case was handled by a court-appointed attorney, who stood next him in the courtoom. According to police, Scott was arrested Wednesday night in the Little Woods section of New Orleans, apparently with the assistance of a SWAT team. At the time of the shooting, Scott was out on bond from gun and drug possession charges he was already facing.

Scott made another court appearance later today where a state District Court judge ordered him held without bond pending additional hearings in that case. He faces a felony charge of illegally carrying a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

With the news that Scott had been apprehended, residents in the neighborhood where the Mother’s Day shooting occurred reacted to his capture.Courtney Moles, whose apartment overlooks the shooting site, told the Associated Press that she didn’t feel her safety was in jeopardy while Scott was loose.

“I didn’t really think he would come back. It’s more personal than that,” she said. “He wasn’t going to that second line to make national news. He was probably settling some kind of score.”

Moles, 24, said the arrest underscores the city’s crisis of violence among its young people. “His life is over now, too,” she said of Scott.

Police still have not identified a motive or the target of the shooter. While police initially said three people were spotted running away from the scene, Scott has been the only suspect identified publicly.

New Orleans police didn’t release many details in the case, but they announced on the department’s Facebook page that Scott had been taken into custody. A report by WDSU said that a SWAT team was used in the apprehension of the teen in east New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Scott was identified by police Monday after footage of the shooting was released that showed a man standing at the outskirts of a packed parade, then charging toward the crowd. The video showed the panicked crowd scrambling for cover as the man runs away, leaving people and bicycles scattered on the ground behind him.

When he released Scott’s name, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Scott has a criminal background that includes resisting arrest and possession of a firearm.

Serpas had asked that anyone with photos, videos or who witnessed the possible shooter contact law enforcement, stressing a $10,000 award for information leading to an arrest.

“I want to remind you that two children were struck in this incident,” he said. ”And if you choose not to tell the police what you know, then you’re choosing to stand with those who shot those children.”

While most of the injuries weren’t life-threatening, a man and a woman reportedly  required surgery on Sunday night.

The shooting occurred in the 7th Ward, about a mile and a half from the heart of the French Quarter and on the edges of the neighborhood dramatized in the fictional HBO series “Treme.”

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