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2 dead, 4 hurt in shooting at Mississippi Mardi Gras parade

PASS CHRISTIAN, Mississippi -- Pass Christian police are investigating a shooting at Sunday's Mardi Gras parade in which at least two people are dead, reports CBS affiliate WLOX.

Police Chief Tim Hendricks has confirmed two people are dead and at least four others are in the hospital.

"It's chaos," Police Chief Tim Hendricks told the Sun Herald.

Celeste Plaisance told the newspaper, "I think I heard 12 shots fired. We thought it was fireworks at first."

She added that when she saw someone had been shot and people were running away, she ran into her mother's house. The bodies, covered in yellow sheets, were near her mother's steps.

Police drove through the yard to avoid disturbing police crime scene tape set up to keep bystanders away, she said.

Crime scene tape is up on Davis Avenue near the intersection of Ladnier Street as the investigation continues.

The area where the shooting took place is north of the parade route. Sunday's parade started at noon and had ended when the shots were fired, the Herald reports.

The parade in Pass Christian is among the largest on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and while much smaller and less famous than its New Orleans relatives, it draws in revelers from around the area.

Pass Christian is a city of about 5,300 on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, about 45 miles east-northeast of New Orleans. About 50,000 people had attended the St. Paul Carnival Association's parade.

The shootings occurred a day after parade accidents in south Louisiana injured a man and a woman.

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana, told local media that a man fell from the top level of a float during a Mardi Gras parade there.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, EMS spokesman Mike Chustz tells The Advocate that a float also hit a pedestrian during the Spanish Town parade. Cpl. L'Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman, said in an email Sunday that he didn't know many details about the accident.

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