BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The unofficial murder count for 2015 in East Baton Rouge Parish stood at 78 Tuesday - a 20 percent increase compared to the total of murders for 2014. However, 2015 is not the record breaking year. Rather, the parish saw a sharp reduction in homicides in 2013 and 2014, but now that number seems to have returned to its post-Katrina average.
The latest murder happened in the 70802 zip code, which has been the deadliest area in Baton Rouge for the last two years. Of the 78 murder investigations, 20 happened in that area.
Cornell Lagarde owns a popular car wash in the middle of the 70802 zip code. The 70802 area is currently targeted by the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination program, commonly referred to as BRAVE.
Lagarde says education and work are the keys to curbing murder and violence.
"An idle mind is the devils workshop," he said. "If you don't have nothing for him to do, his mind gets to wandering. What is he going to do? He is going to destroy, going to destruct like a bomb."
The BRAVE team saw some success in their efforts in the 70805 zip code, which was once saw the same numbers as the 70802 zip code is currently experiencing. The team is hoping these successes bleed over in to the neighboring areas.
"You know you start from when they are young and when they grow up they will always, you know some will stray away but you got some that will listen to you," Lagarde said. "Try to show them a positive aspect not the negative- how they used to be- but you show him better and how they can turn themselves around, educate themselves and mold themselves to get somewhere in life."
In 2007 the parish saw its deadliest year on record due to a major population increase. Although 2015 is far from reaching the total seen that year, it is a stark reminder that the community must always remain vigilant in its fight against crime.
Here is a map of the homicides in 2014 and 2015 in Baton Rouge. For more information about each homicide, click the marker.