BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge Police are still investigating the shooting death of 18 year old Devonta Jenks, who was found dead at the Spanish Arms Apartments on Denham Street early Tuesday morning.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says he's disappointed the apparent murder of Jenks is the fourth in 2014 in the parish involving a teenaged victim. Moore adds he's cautiously optimistic it is the first of the year in the historically high crime zip code of 70805.
"It's really good to see we're down. Again, this first one we figured we would have the first one and we didn't even want have the first one but we're here and hopefully it will be a good year," said Moore.
The shooting death at the Spanish Arms Apartments may be just the first homicide in 2014 in the 70805 zip code but others in nearby areas are concerned about an early uptick in murders.
Davis Rhorer is the Executive Director of the Downtown Development District and says his group has been monitoring the recent increase in violent crimes in the 70802 zip code, which has seen four murders since January 1.
"There's a lot of investment on the way downtown and it's fortunate that in downtown area itself it's been very, very safe but it's a daily thing that we monitor and will be working with the police department actually and we'll be talking about it," said Rhorer.
Moore says it's not uncommon for a downturn in crime in one area to occur during an upswing in crime somewhere else and says initiatives like BRAVE understand violent criminals are not restricted by zip codes.
"The groups that are in 70805 they move around, they just don't stop at boundary and say I can't move to 70802," said Moore. "They're also in 70802 and they also go down into Gardere so where the violence takes us, that's where we are going to go."
Wherever they go Moore says the focus will remain the same, hopeful more and more will hear the message.
"Put the guns down, that's all we want is put guns down. We have a lot of help to give you, if you don't want our help that's ok just stop killing each other," said Moore.