NEW ORLEANS — A grandmother of 15 was shot and killed outside of a graduation ceremony Tuesday morning at Xavier University of Louisiana, the nation’s Catholic HBCU, the latest in a string of deadly shootings around the country.
Two other victims were injured in the incident, which occurred near XULA’s Convocation Center during the commencement for Morris Jeff Community School. One arrest was made at the scene.
The shooting stemmed from an argument between two women in the Convocation Center parking lot, according to police. Neither was among the shooting victims, which included Augustine Greenwood, 80, and two unidentified males.
Greenwood was present for the graduation of her grandson, Corey Lashley Jr. and received a single gunshot wound to the head, more than a block from the scene of the argument. She was pronounced dead later that afternoon at .
"I am in so much pain right now," her daughter Geraldine Greenwood-Lashley said on social media.
"Today, I lost my mother to gun violence."
During a press conference following the shooting, Deputy Police Superintendent Christopher Goodly called the incident a “senseless, senseless act of violence”.
It was the second outbreak of violence this month at XULA, where a large-scale brawl erupted during a graduation for George Washington Carver High School on May 20th. Footage of that scene went viral on social media shortly thereafter, as a shooting at a high school graduation less than 60 miles away—at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond—left four wounded the same day.
New Orleans in particular has experienced a surge in gun violence in recent years, and the city currently has the highest murder rate in the country for large cities. The state of Louisiana also leads the nation this year in mass shootings per capita, with 34 as of May 25th.
After Tuesday’s shooting, the university released a short statement reiterating that the graduation ceremony was unaffiliated with the university and that the campus was currently safe.
“No members of our campus community were involved or injured during this incident,” wrote Changamire Durall, assistant vice president of campus safety and chief of campus police.
“This is an active NOPD investigation, and more information will be released by that law enforcement agency.”
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).