Crime Stoppers: A 'planned attack' guns down a father in a drive-by

Kima and James Collins (Source: Collins Family)
Kima and James Collins (Source: Collins Family)
Kima Collins (Source: Collins Family)
Kima Collins (Source: Collins Family)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A drive-by shooting that could have claimed even more lives. If there's a silver lining in there, one Baton Rouge family will sure take it. And they could sure use it, because this is not the first time such a violent death has paid a visit.

The coming holidays are going to be very difficult for the family of James Collins.

"Another chair is missing for the holidays. Another plate won't be set at the table," said Sharletha Palmer, James' sister.

He won't be with them this year, because back on August 28, somebody gunned him down as he was getting out of his car along Avenue E in north Baton Rouge. In the car with him that night, his 16-year-old son. It's been hard on everybody, but especially him.

"It's a struggle," she said. "Every day is hard for him. To be there, to see it. He keeps the shorts he had on, with the blood on them. It's hard."

So what happened? There are a lot of stories out there. One story detectives are following has this whole incident starting at a football game at Scotlandville High. The story say a fight broke at a concession stand with some of the people involved.

"The altercation was broken up," said Detective Caan Castleberry with the Baton Rouge Police Department. "And after the game, James Collins, his son and a friend left the football game and came back to this residence."

That would be in the 10200 block of Avenue E. Collins had just stepped out of his car when another vehicle drove by and opened fire, hitting Collins multiple times. But even as he lay on the grass dying, Detective Castleberry said the drive by continued.

"Almost in a planned attack, a second vehicle pulled up traveling northbound on Avenue E and unloaded another volley of gunshots into the vehicle," Castleberry said.

Thankfully, nobody else was hit. But, just like that, a life was taken.

For this family, it is a heartbreakingly familiar story, because they've been here before. James' brother, Kima, was shot and killed in Baton Rouge back in November 2009. Their sister is now all that is left of the trio.

"They were my best friends," she said. "I just try to be myself, because, who else can I trust?"

A sad commentary on our society for sure. Sharletha remembers James saying they needed to put Kima's story up on Crime Stoppers to see if it would help. And now look, they need to help him.

"It meant so much to him, so now he is gone. So okay, now I'm saying I have to do this," she said.

The strength in this family is easily seen. They are dealing with so much. Wouldn't it be nice to ease just a little bit of their burden? To do that though, somebody is going to have to make a phone call.

If you have any information about this shooting, you are urged to call the Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

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