Viewpoint: October 6, 2010

Baton Rouge city leaders have worked very hard to create a downtown that we can be proud of. The Downtown Development District has done a good job in creating events and excitement to give people reasons to go downtown.

But, the deadly shooting of a teenager on the levee Saturday night has left people once again scared and frustrated. Police say 17-year-old Darius Augustus was an innocent bystander who was looking for a friend when gunfire erupted.

Turns out, when one group of people started shooting into the air, another group thought they were the target and started firing back. Darius, who had nothing to do with either group, lost his life when he was caught in the crossfire. Darius' death comes on the heels of another tragic crime, a home invasion that left a mother dead and her young daughter fighting for her life.

The randomness of this recent violence is having an impact on every day life in Baton Rouge.   People are much more cautious, the topic of crime dominates a lot of conversations and sales of security systems are way up. No one wants to live like this. We need an aggressive plan to stop the violence.

The Mississippi River is one of the city's crowning jewels and the riverfront, a prime spot for tourists. It must be a place where you can feel safe. If not, it hurts us all.