Five people, including a girl, were shot near the end of the route for Sunday’s Krewe of Bacchus parade, one of the biggest of the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, police said.

The shooting was reported at 9:30 p.m., police said, along the busy Uptown parade route. It is a stretch, populated with bars, where large crowds gather.

A reporter for NBC affiliate WDSU of New Orleans was on scene and said the parade stopped when the shots erupted.

“I thought it sounded like 20 shots,” witness Stacey Morigeau told the WDSU reporter. “It was a quick shot. And they all started running.

Police officers said at an informal news conference that officers were nearby, heard gunshots and rushed to the scene, near St. Charles Avenue and Terpsichore Street. There they found the five victims and two pistols.

A suspect was detained less than a block away, police said. It was not clear if there was more than one shooter or if other people were involved.

A woman and three other people identified as men were also among the victims, according to New Orleans police. It was not clear what led to the violence.

The parade, a major event in the city’s Carnival season, was scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

Mardi Gras is Tuesday.

Police Deputy Superintendent Hans Ganthier expressed disappointment, saying local police were doing everything they could to ensure a safe Mardi Gras this year.

«With the quick apprehension that they did, they were able to keep the rest of the public safe,» he said of the responding officers.

«That said, this really isn’t something we wanted to see,» Ganthier said. «We really wanted it to be a safe Mardi Gras, and we continue to work toward that end.»