Musician Chris Ardoin shot while performing onstage at Louisiana music festival


Ardoin was performing at Zydeco Bike Fest when he was shot in the back. Photo: Chris Ardoin/Instagram

Zydeco musician Chris Ardoin was shot in the back and hospitalised while performing at an event in Colfax, Louisiana, his wife said in a statement on Facebook.

Ardoin was performing as the Friday (July 30) headliner at Zydeco Bike Fest when he was shot in the back. Ardoin's wife, Kerri, posted on his official Facebook page at 3:36 a.m. Saturday (July 31) and said he was struck on his right side while performing.

"Doctors said thankfully he's a built guy. The bullet didn't penetrate his lung and stopped near his ribs ... Please keep him in your prayers and will update you all later!" she wrote.

His brother, Zydeco musician Sean Ardoin, posted an update on his personal Facebook account around 10am Saturday that Chris Ardoin was doing well and resting safely at home after his visit to the hospital.

"God is faithful and praise Him that the bullet is 'safely' lodged in soft tissue in his back and is not a threat. Thank you (for) your prayers and concern, we'll all believe that it will just be a reminder of how blessed he is...," he wrote on Facebook.

At noon, Chris Ardoin's Facebook page followed up with a simple "thumbs up" sign signaling to fans and friends he was doing OK.

The shooting happened in Colfax, Louisiana, at Louisiana Mudfest, an ATV and mudding park where the weekend festival was being held. Ardoin was slated as the Friday headliner, with Lil Nate and the Zydeco Big Timers scheduled to perform Saturday night. Lil Nate posted on Facebook Saturday morning that his group was cancelling its performance.

The remaining events for Zydeco Bike Fest were also cancelled.

Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said deputies responded to reports of a shooting at the venue around 1am. He said two people were struck by gunfire and suffered moderate injuries; one was identified by family as Ardoin, and the other was listed by the sheriff's office as a 14-year-old child. McCain said they were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Alexandria.

An update on the child's condition was not available Saturday afternoon.

McCain said two men – Ajontae Brown and Zachary Thomas – were arrested on two counts each of aggravated assault with a firearm after jumping on the running boards of a truck attempting to leave the venue and pointing their weapons at the occupants. The truck was one of hundreds crammed into a line attempting to leave through the venue's one exit as people fled in panic following the shooting, the sheriff said.

He said it was unknown Saturday afternoon if Brown and Thomas were involved in the shooting that injured Ardoin and the unidentified child.

Investigators collected 20 shell casings from several areas at the venue and will analyse them to determine whether one or multiple weapons were involved, McCain said. All of the shooting happened outdoors; Louisiana Mudfest has an outdoor stage positioned beside the Red River, with a large field for concertgoers, he said. – The Advocate, Baton Rouge/Tribune News Service

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