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Arrests made in New Orleans shooting that left two dead, toddler blind

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting in New Orleans over the weekend that left two people dead and five wounded, including two toddlers who were shot in the head.

The Sunday night shooting came amid a spate of high-profile violence in the city, including a June shootout on Bourbon Street, the commercial heart of the historic French Quarter, an area popular with tourists, which left one dead and nine wounded.

The suspected shooter, Blair Taylor, 20, and the man believed to be his accomplice, Jeffery Rivers, 25, were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder, police said.

Taylor appeared to have targeted one of those killed, Terrence McBride, who was a suspected heroin dealer, police said.

The other victim, 16-year-old Jasmine Anderson, was likely not intended as a target, local media reported neighbors as saying.

A 4-year-old boy was permanently blinded in the shooting and his brother, aged 2, suffered brain damage, police said.

The murder weapon was found in the apartment of one of the suspects, a police spokesman said.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged witnesses to the drive-by shooting and to violent crime in the city more generally to come forward with information.

"We want to end this relentless drum beat of death," Landrieu said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky. Editing by Scott Malone and Andre Grenon)

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