PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Monday morning, residents in the quiet neighborhoods near the scene of Sunday's fatal shootings in Pass Christian were trying to make sense of what happened the day before. Gunshots near the parade route left two dead and sent four to the hospital.
As the beads were being swept up and the barricades removed, memories of the tragedy remained. For those who were there, the chaotic scene from the day before was fresh on their minds.
"All I knew is that I heard shots and I got out of the way," said Anthony Piernas Jr, who was a few houses down from the scene.
The shots ended up killing two men on the spot, and sending four others to the hospital. By Monday afternoon, two of those victims were still hospitalized in stable condition. The shock of the carnage is something that won't soon disappear.
"This is the first time I've ever known of people to get shot at a Pass parade, getting killed," said Piernas.
Harold Daniels said it's not a first for him. After spending more than 80 carnival seasons on Davis Avenue, Daniels said he isn't surprised by the violence. But, he said it's usually not this serious.
"It's mostly gang bang and people like, oh, you're in my spot," said Daniels.
The violence has many people in the surrounding neighborhoods on edge.
"Well, there's just so much gun violence," said Naomi Bilbro.
Willie Newson agreed, "It's just a scary situation, you know?"
It's a situation Newson believes will change Mardi Gras in Pass Christian from here on out.
"It's going to have a big impact and if it keeps getting like this then there's going to be a lot of people that's not going to want to come to Mardi Gras anymore," said Newson.
Andrew Fountain has worked to clean up after parades in the Pass for years. Shootings have only been rumor to him until now.
"I've heard about it, but this is the first time I've ever been this close to it," said Fountain.
On his way to the area after the parade, Fountain drove right by the scene before the shots rang out.
"As soon as I made that turn, I heard a lot of gunfire. Like, pow pow. It sounded like what might have been 12 to 15 shots, to me. And then people just running everywhere, hollering and screaming that people getting shot," said Fountain.
Fountain immediately took cover and considers himself blessed to be alive, as many others do. One thing is certain, countless lives will forever be changed after this carnival season in Pass Christian.
Police are still asking for help from the public. If anyone has photos or video footage from the area, or any other information that could help lead to an arrest, please contact the Pass Christian Police Department at (228) 452-3301.