Several Shot Outside Graduation Ceremony at University: Police

Three people were shot on Tuesday at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans where a graduation ceremony for Morris Jeff High School students was being held, police said, and one of the victims has died.

The shooting occurred in a parking lot outside Convocation Center during the high school graduation ceremony, according to WVUE. A witness told the news outlet that a fight might have broken out after the ceremony, and between five and 12 shots followed.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) announced that three victims were transported to a local hospital with gunshot wounds. One of the victims, an elderly woman, has died, according to authorities.

The two other victims have been reported as males with wounds to the leg and shoulder. Police confirmed they are not considered life-threatening.

The age and identity of the woman have yet to be disclosed. NOPD Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly told WVUE that he could not confirm if she was related to any graduating students.

At least three suspects were detained at the scene and police are investigating. It is reported that no arrests have been made.

Goodly told WVUE that there was an argument between two females, and at some point, shots were fired. Reportedly, the elderly woman was believed to be an innocent bystander.

The deputy superintendent called what happened a "senseless act of violence."

New Orleans Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. released a statement on Tuesday, saying: "The graduating seniors of Morris Jeff were there to share in their collective achievements and bask in the brightness of their futures – only to have their optimism ripped apart by gun violence. This has got to stop.

"All our children have a right to be safe and we must do all we can in our power to protect that right. My heart breaks for the families of the victims, and I implore us all to rally around them in their time of need."

Tuesday's shooting falls exactly a week after the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman entered Robb Elementary School and killed 19 children and two teachers.

The rhetoric over the last week has called gun control and gun laws into question, especially as there have been 17 mass shootings in the U.S. in the seven days since the Uvalde incident.

President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he plans to meet with Congress to discuss the gun debate.

Biden said on Monday that he has faced immense pressure from those wanting to ban weapons, although he pointed to the U.S. Constitution, saying: "I can't dictate this stuff. I can do the things that I've done. And any executive action I can take, I'll continue to take. But I can't outlaw a weapon. I can't, you know, change the background checks. I can't do that."

He added that he hopes some Congressional Republicans have changed their minds about potential action to be taken, saying: "We can't continue like this."

Newsweek reached out to the New Orleans Police Department for additional comment.

Update 5/31/22, 4:28 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.

Shooting at Xavier University
Three people were shot on Tuesday at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans where a graduation ceremony for Morris Jeff High School students was being held. istock/Getty/aijohn784