Mardi Gras descends into violence as 2 tourists killed, student's body dumped at hospital, and 5 stabbed outside a bar

NEW Orleans has this week been a sea of glitter, costumes and flamboyance as Mardi Gras spirit takes over the streets.

Thousands of revelers made their way to the Louisiana city to celebrate the parade for the first time in two years due to Covid.

But away from the fun the carnival – which culminated in Fat Tuesday this week – has also witnessed instances of shocking violence.

Two tourists have been killed and five revelers stabbed outside a bar in three separate incidents.

One of those killed was a 15-year-old girl after she was hit by a stray bullet while spending time with her late mother’s family at a Carnival parade.


Heaven Nettles, 15, was with her relatives at an oyster stand on Saturday when a man began shooting at another, according to her father.

A stray bullet struck and killed the teen along with two other men. 

“She didn’t know anyone out there – she wasn’t affiliated with anyone out there,” said her father, Jamal Briscoe. Heaven had been visiting from Houston, Texas.

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The shooting also killed Donald Roberts Jr, 39, and Marvin Pepp, 56.

A second tourist visiting the city from South Carolina was killed after getting caught his crossfire, his family have said.


Brandon Bovain, 33, was checking into a hotel in the city when gunfire broke out.

His brother James told "He had nothing to do with the situation. Nobody expected it to be his last trip."

Days earlier a  University of New Orleans college student, 21, was reportedly dropped off dead at a local hospital after taking an Uber home from a night out.

Ciaya Jordan Whetstone is said to have attended a Mardi Gras parade earlier in the evening.

According to Whetstone's friend, Juliet Orr, the 21-year-old attended the Carnival parades in Metairie on Friday but left the event at around 8.30pm.

Orr told NOLA that Whetstone then went to a bar with another group of friends, after which a friend brought the student to her boyfriend's in Harahan.


The friend said Whetstone decided to take an Uber in the middle of the night to check on her dog, Zoe, at her Lakeshore Drive apartment in Gentilly.

However, when Whetstone got to her apartment, Orr said the driver apparently waited outside while she checked her dog.

Whetstone's roommate, Reese White, said she told her to stay, but the 21-year-old insisted that the driver was her friend and left with him to "go find her car," White said.

White said Whetstone appeared intoxicated, "I tried to convince her not to go," she told NOLA.


Another friend, Roberto Torres, said he called Whetstone at about 1:30am Saturday, just as she got into her Uber ride.

Torres claims he overheard the driver ask her, “do you like to party?"

Whetstone reportedly told Torres that she would call him back, but when she didn't, he tried her again.

"I called. I called. I called – nothing," Torres told the outlet. The group of friends never heard from Whetstone again.

According to police, Whetstone was dropped off at a local hospital in an unresponsive state the following day and was soon pronounced dead.

Police in New Orleans are now investigating the mysterious death and are attempting to put together the student's final moments.


A separate Mardi Gras celebration turned violent after a mass stabbing outside a popular venue left five people injured.

Officials said the fight broke out at around 7.30am on Tuesday at the uptown college bar The Boot.

According to police, the incident unfolded after someone was denied entry into the bar and "became violent."

A fight ensued outside the bar as Tulane police were called to the scene.

Five people were injured, including at least one student from Loyola University who was working at the bar at the time.

The male student was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The condition of the other four people was not available.


On Tuesday night a local reporter said 'pop' sounds sent crowds in Bourbon Street fleeing.

A police spokesman told The Sun the reports were "false", adding: "There were no gunshots fired on Bourbon Street."

Despite that, footage showed dozens of people running away from the scene.

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