- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Christians on Wednesday headed into 46 days of Lent, the sacrificial lead-up to Easter — just a few hours after the revelry of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, left two dead by gun fire in a parking lot in New Orleans.

The deaths didn’t diminish the solemnity of the Lent season for Christians, however.

“It’s about celebration and sacrifice before Easter,” said Mardi Gras partier Jim Baker, of New Orleans, to The Associated Press. “[And] to show that you’re appreciative of being here.”

Mr. Baker said his sacrifice was “giving up desserts. I love desserts but I’m diabetic. So it’s a sacrifice, but it will be good for me,” AP reported.

Just a few hours earlier, Mardi Gras wrapped with two shooting deaths in a parking lot near the Port of New Orleans, AP reported. Police reported the victims, ages 25 and 28, were shot several times and were found dead at the scene. An earlier shooting at a concert left another 25-year-old man injured, but in stable condition at an area hospital, police said.