BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Thirty-three Baton Rouge families will be spending Christmas wondering who murdered their loved one this year. BRPD Chief Murphy Paul says officers are working hard to close those cases, but they could really use some help from the public.
The Baton Rouge Public Safety Common Operations Platform (PSCOP) allows detectives to get the details of each case. Chief Paul says there are some though that don’t need a synopsis. They are forever etched in their minds. One of them, he says, is the quadruple shooting that happened on Nov. 14 on Gus Young Avenue. Three men died. A shooter has not been identified.
“That stands out to me because there were a lot of people in that parking lot, innocent young men killed that day who did not deserve to die,” Paul said.
Another November murder involving Baton Rouge rapper, Ashton Wells, known as Blvd Quick, is also still unsolved. That one happened at an apartment complex near off Millerville Road. Again, there are no suspects. The chief says he recently met Wells at a city TRUCE meeting. He was sitting among young men and women who were called in for a talk about changing their ways.
“I can’t help but think, what if that young man would have taken us up on that offer, would he still be alive today?” Paul asked.
Another murder Chief Paul can’t seem to shake happened in May on N 19th Street near a church. East Baton Rouge School teacher, Brent Batiste, was found shot dead inside of his car. Witnesses said there were nine shots fired, but no one came forward with much else that might help detectives find the killer.
There are 30 more stories just like those. “All of these homicides, they take a toll on you,” Paul said.
The chief says community involvement has been instrumental in helping the department rise above the national average for solved murders. It’s a start, but he admits there’s plenty more work to do. That, he says, starts at home. If you hear someone making a threat, simply talking them down can make a difference in whether they follow through.
“Love is not allowing my family member to follow through with an event that I know will hurt him, the family. We have to start thinking different,” Paul said. He says it’s a small step, but one that could ultimately help change the culture of crime in the city.
If you know anything about any of the unsolved murders or hear something you think could help police, call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.