BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was a busy night for first responders who were called to five different shooting scenes that left two people dead Monday night into Tuesday morning.
"In about a two hour period, we had five shootings," said interim Baton Rouge Police Chief Jonny Dunnam. "It was a violent night in Baton Rouge. After a week of quiet, last night was extremely violent."
The Baton Rouge Police Department has identified the two victims who died as Armajae Smith, 17, and Craig Thomas, 22.
"We are investigating the possibility that one of those homicides may have been drug related. We're also investigating other options. Obviously, individuals out there, violent criminal individuals who are using guns to solve disputes," said Dunnam.
Smith is the victim from the Cezanne Ave. shooting and Thomas was shot and killed on Rosenwald Rd. Police added the other shooting victims suffered injuries not considered life-threatening.
"We've got officers out there working, working overtime. We've got manpower allocated in the areas where we've had shootings," said Dunnam.
Unfortunately, these cases are stretching BRPD thin. Dunnam says the department's maximum allotment is 698 officers. Right now, they're 62 officers short. "Manpower is an issue right now. We've talked to the mayor and the mayor has approved us to have a post academy, which will start October 9, so we'll have some additional, hopefully 13 to 15 officers back on the streets within ten weeks," Dunnam added.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome released a statement on the overnight violence in the City of Baton Rouge.
The statement reads:
Officials with BRPD say all of these shootings appear to be unrelated at this point.
Prior to those two shootings, BRPD responded to a shooting Monday night in which one person was killed and another suffered injuries.
Officials identified the victim who died as Armajae Smith, 17. They say the other victim, identified only as a 28-year-old man, suffered injuries not considered life-threatening.
Investigators say just minutes later, a shooting at an apartment complex on Lobdell Blvd. sent another person to the hospital.
The condition of the surviving victim in this two shooting is currently unknown.
Also around 11 p.m., police reported one person was injured in a shooting on Scotland Ave. near Blount Rd. Not many details are known at this time about this incident.
Preliminary information on another shooting indicates one victim was allegedly shot on St. Vincent de Paul Dr. near Florida Blvd. The shooting reportedly happened around 11:10 p.m. The victim's condition is unknown.
The most recent shooting happened in the parking lot of the Rosenwald Place Apartments on Rosenwald Rd., which runs between Scenic Hwy. and Scotland Ave. south of I-110, shortly after midnight.
One person was killed as a result of this shooting early Tuesday morning.
BRPD identified the victim as Craig Thomas, 22.
Police have not released the names of any suspect at this time. We will update this story with new information when it becomes available.