The savages have emerged from their caves:
Superdome Evacuation Halted After Shots Fired
The evacuation of the New Orleans Superdome was suspended Thursday after gunshots were fired at a military helicopter as thousands of National Guard troops poured into the Big Easy to boost security in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (search).
The first of nearly 25,000 refugees being sheltered at the New Orleans Superdome began to arrive in Houston, Texas, Thursday. But that process ground to a halt after shots were fired at the helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak, according to an ambulance official overseeing the operation.
"We have suspended operations until they gain control of the Superdome," said Richard Zeuschlag, head of Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome.
Also, there's this: Mayhem hampering hospital evacuations
A private ambulance service says it is being hindered in its efforts to evacuate patients from New Orleans hospitals by the lawlessness in the city and appealed to President Bush to activate the military.
"If we don't have the federal presence in New Orleans tonight at dark, it will no longer be safe to be there, hospital or no hospital," Acadian Ambulance Services chief executive officer Richard Zuschlag told CNN.
Acadian, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, is trying to evacuate some 2,000 patients from hospitals before nightfall Wednesday, including dozens of critically ill babies at medical facilities with no electricity or water.
The firm's priority is getting out 25 critically ill infants from Children's Hospital and 100 babies from Touro Infirmary, said spokeswoman Julie Mahfouz.
Zuschlag said part of the reason Touro requested the evacuation of its 175 patients -- including 100 babies -- "is the unrest in New Orleans."
He said his workers have been victims of the looting and mayhem across the city.
"My people are in harm's way," he said. "They are scared. Our command station about an hour ago had the generator stolen off the back of it. We've had an ambulance turned over.
"Things are not good in New Orleans. It's very serious now."
How to respond? The New York Times reports:
John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.
One said, "We want that generator," he recalled.
"I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum," Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. "They scattered."
He smiled and added, "You've heard of law west of the Pecos. This is law west of Canal Street."