By Kevin Gallagher | Louisiana Radio Network | May 27, 2022

Research website “” reports Louisiana leads the nation in mass shootings per capita. Just this calendar year alone, there have been 16 mass shootings that killed 9 people and injured 79 others. New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission director Rafael Goyeneche says gang activity & youth anger accounts for most of the violence. He calls it “retaliatory street justice.”

“They identify a target and if they encounter that target in a public setting they are prepared to open fire, but they have total disregard for any innocent bystanders,” Goyeneche says.

The website ranks our state highest in such shooting incidents by population. By comparison, Texas has had 21 so far this year, and California 20…but those states have over 7 times more people. Goyeneche says the ranking report doesn’t even include potentially hundreds of other gun violence incidents statewide.

“The definition of a mass shooting is four or more people shot or killed. That doesn’t take into consideration the shooting incidents in which three or two people are shot or killed” he says.

What can be done about it? Goyeneche says more law enforcement officers on the street would help.

“We have an escalating violent crime problem and every week that goes by we’re losing more officers. As of a week ago Monday, we have lost 65 officers.”

He says NOPD graduated only 8 police cadets during the same span in which they lost dozens of cops. Baton Rouge, the state’s 2nd-most-violent city, has a similar problem with a diminishing police force.