By Natasha Robin | WVUE | September 14, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – According to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, gun violence in New Orleans has sent 584 people to the hospital this year. Of those injured, the MCC says 208 of them died since Jan. 1.
“Since 2019, homicides are up 140%. Shootings are up 100%,” says Rafael Goyeneche.
There have been 498 shooting and deadly shooting incidents so far this year, but Goyeneche says the MCC decided to dig deeper, finding 584 shooting victims in total.
“And that’s still a work in progress,” says Goyeneche.
He points out that while there’s no way to compare that number to the number of shooting victims in previous years, it’s still too high.
“It’s the reason why the public is demanding that something be done,” says Goyeneche.
Paulette Florant lost her son, 31-year-old Anthony, to gun violence in September.
“My son is dead from this tragedy. What am I supposed to do,” says Florant. “I don’t know if I’m going to break. I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.”
Florant spent 12 years in prison, only to have her son ripped from her life after being released. Anthony leaves behind five kids. She says she’s doing her best to deal with the loss.
“I just came home. I can’t get on track. Now, this murder happens. I have to bury my son Friday,” says Florant.
“We have a real problem. We are dealing with a crisis,” says Michael Willis, with the organization H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Endure) “You’ve got 15-year-olds, 10-year-olds, 12-year-olds, carrying guns. Everybody has a gun.”
“Where is the help for these kids out here? The mothers are going through the same thing that I’m going through. I’m scared,” says Florant.
Together, Willis and Florant say there’s no more time to waste waiting for change.
“We need to stop. It’s got to stop some kind of way,” says Florant.
“We want to use this tragedy to really show the world that she’s a strong mother, but we are going to be a strong community. We don’t care what all the political people are doing. We are going to take back our community,” says Willis.