NEW ORLEANS – A Houston mother who was in town visiting friends was among three people killed Saturday night in New Orleans' latest mass shooting, according to a coroner's report and information on The New Orleans Advocate.
27-year-old Taiesha “Tai” Watkins leaves behind a 5-year-old daughter, a relative who spoke with the paper said.
"She was a beautiful soul with a smile and personality that would light up the entire room," said friend Chloe Alexander, a digital producer at khou.com.
“I’m hurt, sad, angry and shocked you the left the way you did,” another person posted on social media. “I guess God had better plans for his beautiful … angel.”
Watkins was a graduate of Hightower High School. She worked at Memorial Hermann Orthopedic and Spine Hospital and as a cheerleading coach.
Police say two people wearing hooded jackets opened fire on a group of people outside a strip mall near Central City Saturday night. Police believe the incident is gang-related and that one man was being chased by two people firing guns. The man ran into a crowd at the strip mall in the 3400 block of South Claiborne Avenue and several people were hit as shots were fired.
At one point the two suspects stood over the man and fired several shots into him at close range. The suspects then fled on foot.
Watkins, along with 38-year-old Kurshaw “Twin” Jackson and 30-year-old Jeremiah Lee died in the shooting, according to the coroner. Seven other people were wounded.
Police say Lee, an associate of a street gang called 3NG, was the intended target of the shooting.
The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office has not officially released the names of any of the victims.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Authorities say there is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.
The New Orleans Advocate's Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.