Irish policeman shot in New Orleans
The wife and mother of an Irish policeman shot by an armed robber while on holiday in the US are on their way to his hospital bedside.
Brian Hanrahan, a father and an officer in the Limerick area, is the latest victim of a string of shootings that have put New Orleans on edge as it gets ready to kick off carnival festivities.
Mr Hanrahan is in a serious but stable condition, a day after he was shot in a residential area near the city's French Quarter.
He told police he was robbed at 5.40am after withdrawing money from an ATM, accompanied by a man who told him where he could get a drink at that hour.
Judge James McKay, an Irish honorary consul in the city, said Mr Hanrahan arrived in New Orleans with his father, who lives in Missouri. His wife and mother are expected to arrive in New Orleans today.
The attack came a day after a 17-year-old high school pupil was shot dead on his way to school over what detectives believe was an argument about a video game controller. In addition, a 29-year-old man was killed on Monday and a 25-year-old woman on Tuesday.
Police in New Orleans are battling with a depleted force and an increase in violent crime.
"The city is not safe," said Tamara Jackson, executive director of Silence Is Violence, a community group that works with the families of shooting victims. She action needing to be taken included stemming the flow of weapons on to the streets and beefing up the size of the police force.
"We have too many young people who can get access to semi-automatic rifles, AK-47s," she said.
About one million visitors are expected to come to New Orleans during the carnival period, which ends on February 17 with the celebration of Fat Tuesday, known in the city as Mardi Gras.