Mid-year 2012, EBR homicides spike

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Homicides in East Baton Rouge Parish are on a record pace halfway through 2012, with a total of more than 50 murders so far.

Both the Baton Rouge Police Department and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office are looking into more killings so far this year compared to this time last year.

More than six months into 2012, preliminary statistics show 37 homicides for BRPD. This time last year there were 30. Outside the city, EBRSO is looking into a record 14 killings so far. That number matches the total amount for all of last year.

There were at least three murders in Baker and another in Zachary. That brings the total number of homicides for the parish to at least 55.

City police have had a busy weekend. The most recent killing happened early Sunday morning at the Latin Club when someone was stabbed to death. A shooting on College Drive Saturday left another person dead. And, shots rang out at Mohican and Prescott Friday, resulting in a third death.

The Friday shooting was in the 70805 zip code, which is the same zip where officials recently launched the BRAVE initiative.

Raymond Marcelle owns a barber shop in the targeted zip. He said the crime problem is more than police can take on alone. It's a community problem.

"I got two kids dead," said Marcelle. "All the people out there, nobody seen anything but one lady. If I see somebody shooting somebody, I'm going to call the police and point them out."

Marcelle said people have to break the code of silence and he said the police presence makes a noticeable difference.

"They hide guns and everything. They quiet when the police come. They bad as long as the police don't come," Marcelle added.

As part of the BRAVE project, five officers have been patrolling the 70805 zip hoping to reduce crime and build relationships with the community. Mayor-president Kip Holden said that's what is needed to get a hold on the city's crime problem.

"You can have a police officer on every corner, but if you don't have the information coming off the streets, then you will still encounter problems," said Holden.

All of the numbers are preliminary. Justifiable killings and negligent homicides are not turned in for Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) numbers.

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