- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

Two guns were used in a shooting that killed two men and injured four other people after a Mardi Gras parade in Mississippi, but investigators don’t know how many people fired them, the police chief said Monday.

Shell casings with two calibers indicate the number of guns used Sunday afternoon, said Chief Tim Hendricks of Pass Christian (kris-TYANH), a city of 5,300 about 45 miles east of New Orleans.

“Whether they were used by one person or multiple people, we don’t know,” he said during a news conference broadcast live by WLOX-TV.

Hendricks said two of the wounded people remained hospitalized Monday, one with a leg wound and the other with a knee wound. The other two, hit in the right leg and upper chest, respectively, were released after treatment Sunday night, he said.

He wouldn’t release their names. “They are victims; we haven’t had time to talk to them all,” he said.

Asked whether any victims are suspects, the police chief said, “We’re not ruling out anything.”

Asked whether those killed and wounded knew each other, he said it appears that at least some of the victims were innocent bystanders “hit by errant rounds.”

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove identified the dead men as Carlos Bates, 29, of Gulfport, and Isiah Major III, 43, of Bay St. Louis.

Hendricks said investigators are working to sort out the facts from a flood of information, some of it contradictory. He asked for anyone with videos or other information to come forward.

About 50,000 people had watched the St. Paul Carnival Association’s parade, and an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 of them were in the area where the shots were fired about 15 minutes afterward, Hendricks said.

He said he had received calls from several news media outlets asking whether the shooting appeared to be terrorism or racially motivated. He said the answer to both was no, and added that the shooting also “had absolutely nothing to do with the parade itself.”

Investigators impounded a vehicle but did not yet have a warrant to search it, Hendricks said.

Shots also were fired on a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade route Sunday night but no one was injured, said police spokesman Frank Robertson. He said it happened just after 9 p.m. along the Bacchus parade route on St. Charles Avenue. Robertson said officers found a handgun but a suspect or suspects escaped into the crowd.

Police say aggressive patrols have led to multiple arrests and nine gun confiscations along Mardi Gras parade routes so far this year.

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Associated Press Writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to show that the city’s name is Pass Christian, not Pass Christina.

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