Police release details of teenager suspected of opening fire on New Orleans parade, leaving 20 wounded, some critically

New Orleans police have named 19-year-old Akein Scott in the Mother's Day shooting of nearly 20 people and appealed for him to come forward.

Police superintendent Ronal Serpas said several people had identified Scott. It was too early to say whether he was the only suspect.

"The important thing for Akein Scott now is to turn himself in," Serpas said. Earlier, police had announced a $10,000 reward and released blurry surveillance camera images. Investigators said this led to several tips.

Video released early on Monday showed a crowd gathered for a parade suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man in a white T-shirt and dark trousers who turns and runs out of the picture.

Three gunshot victims remained in critical condition on Monday. Most of the wounded had been released from the hospital.

Residents say gun violence that flared at two other city celebrations in 2013 goes hand in hand with the city's other deeply rooted problems such as poverty and urban blight. In January, five people were wounded in a drive-by shooting after a Martin Luther King Jr Day parade, and four were wounded in a shooting after an argument in the French Quarter in the days leading up to Mardi Gras. Two teens were arrested in connection with the Martin Luther King Day shootings; three men were arrested and charged in the Mardi Gras shootings.

Last week. law enforcement officials reported the indictment of 15 people in gang-related crimes, including the death of a five-year-old girl killed by stray gunfire at a birthday party a year ago.

The city's 193 homicides in 2012 are seven fewer than the previous year and the slowdown appeared to have continued into the first three months of 2013.

© Guardian News and Media 2013