Grandmother Shot Dead At High School Graduation
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Family Handout
An 80-year-old grandmother of 15 has died following a triple shooting at a high school graduation in New Orleans.
The shooting took place shortly before midday on Tuesday (31 May), when Augustine Greenwood was in a car park outside Xavier University’s convocation centre to celebrate the graduation of her youngest grandson from Morris Jeff Community School.
New Orleans Police Department Deputy Supt. Christopher Goodly said a fight had broken out between two women in the car park shortly after the ceremony, and moments later multiple rounds rang out in the area.
At least 3 people were shot following Morris Jeff High School’s graduation at Xavier University near the Convocation Center. It happened Tuesday around noon. One person was taken into custody. The victims were transported to a hospital. pic.twitter.com/1cTGw4mmkr— Erika Ferrando WWLTV (@ErikaFerrandoTV) May 31, 2022
It has not been confirmed whether either of the women involved in the altercation was the shooter, but three people have been taken in for questioning in the wake of the incident.
Greenwood’s son-in-law, Corey Lashley Sr., told NOLA.com the family was walking to their car when he heard the gunshots and noticed Greenwood had been struck. The 80-year-old woman was transported by New Orleans EMS to a local hospital, but sadly died of her injuries.
Minutes earlier Greenwood’s daughter, Geraldine Greenwood-Lashley, snapped a photo of her mother at the graduation, wearing a blue floral dress and matching cardigan. Greenwood-Lashley later shared the image on Facebook and wrote that she was in 'so much pain' after having lost her mother to gun violence.
"This picture was just taken minutes before she was killed by a stray bullet meant for someone else... Now the families of three people lives will forever be changed," she wrote.
Today, I issued the following statement about a shooting on the campus of Xavier University outside the graduation ceremonies for Morris Jeff High School. I hope all Louisianans will join me in prayer for the victims of these pointless acts of violence. #lagov #lalege pic.twitter.com/2uQIzKKlRY— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) May 31, 2022
The daughter went on to address person responsible for the shooting, writing: "Today you took my world away from me and my family, all you had to do was walk away. It was graduation for my son, my mom was so happy to see her youngest grandchild graduate. You have ruined my son and families world, all you had to do was walk away.”
Other victims of the shooting included two males who suffered non-life-threatening injuries to the leg and shoulder, respectively.
Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr., superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools, described himself as 'outraged and saddened' by the shooting, KSLA reports, adding: "The graduating seniors of Morris Jeff were there to share in their collective achievements and bask in the brightness of their futures – only to have their optimism ripped apart by gun violence. This has got to stop."
Patricia Perkins, the head of the school, similarly described the situation as a 'tragedy'.
Investigators are said to have confiscated more than one weapon at the scene on Tuesday.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677