A bicyclist on a morning training ride in eastern New Orleans was shot in the lower back with a small caliber bullet, Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Christopher Weiss, 49, of the Carrollton area in New Orleans said he felt a sharp pain in his back and rolled to a stop to investigate. Shortly after that he was taken to a hospital where doctors determined the small caliber bullet (the wound was initially thought to be caused by a pellet) did not hit any vital organs. Because it came to rest very close to the spinal cord, doctors have decided not to remove it at this time. Doctors say Weiss may experience some immediate leg mobility issues but that they hope the effects are temporary, Marc Weiss, Christopher's father, said in a telephone interview from his summer home in Massachusetts.
The incident occurred as a paceline of about 10 riders in the Semi-Tough Cycling Club were coming back from their regular Saturday ride to Fort Pike, headed west on Bullard Avenue. The shooting is being investigated by the New Orleans Police Department. As of May 22, no suspects have been announced.
In the weeks before the May 13 attack, bicyclists have reported two paint ball attacks while riding on Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans, both the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the New Orleans Advocate have reported.
The ugly incident was even reported in the UK in the Sun tabloid; another black mark against New Orleans, a top rated urban cycling destination in the U.S.
A petition requesting more police protection for cyclists has been started
The elder Weiss also said a petition has been started requesting the city increase police protection of cyclists. The petition is directed at New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans Police Superintendent, Michael S. Harrison and asks them to respond with more policing in the face of escalating violence toward cyclists. The petition can be found at:
As of Monday, May 21, nearly 10,000 worldwide have signed the petition. About 800 of the signers are from Louisiana.