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Police ID suspect in New Orleans mass shooting

NEW ORLEANS — Police identified a 19-year-old man as a suspect in the shooting of nearly 20 people during a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans, saying several people had identified him as the gunman.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said they were looking for Akein Scott of New Orleans. He said it was too early to say whether he was the only shooter.

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‘‘We would like to remind the community and Akein Scott that the time has come for him to turn himself in,’’ Serpas said at a news conference outside of police headquarters.

A photo of Scott hung from a podium in front of the police chief. ‘‘We know more about you than you think we know,’’ he said.

The mass shooting showed again how far the city has to go to shake a persistent culture of violence that belies its festive image. Earlier, police announced a $10,000 reward and released blurry surveillance camera images, which led to several tips from the community.

‘‘The people today chose to be on the side of the young innocent children who were shot and not on the side of a coward who shot into the crowd,’’ Serpas said.

The superintendent said SWAT members and US marshals served a searched warrant at one location looking for Scott and also visited two other blocks of interest.

Angry residents said gun violence — which has flared at two other city celebrations this year — goes hand in hand with the city’s other deeply rooted problems such as poverty and urban blight.

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