BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A violent weekend began with gunshots Friday and continued into Monday morning as five shootings sent over a dozen people to the hospital in Baton Rouge.
Police are still searching for suspects.
Don Coppola, a public information officer for the Baton Rouge Police Department, says the department needs help from the public to track down any potential leads.
"Investigators are working tirelessly and diligently to figure this out,” Coppola said. “We have leaned on the community so much in the past, come through with us, and we want to keep that going. They may hear things we don’t, and we just ask you to pick up the phone.”
The first gunshots rang out Friday night around 10:45 p.m. on Jasper Avenue. Three people sustained non-life threatening injuries during an armed robbery attempt. Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office say the three victims resisted three armed men wearing bandannas when one of the burglars opened fire. One person was shot in the hand, one in the ankle, and a third was grazed by a bullet on their leg.
Moments later, near Tigerland, one person was shot after approaching a suspect who was trying to break into his vehicle. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries.
“Our police officers and our detectives have worked tirelessly this year to reduce crime in Baton Rouge. We have been working with the community to address crime related issues in Baton Rouge. I am confident the people we serve will do their part in helping us identify the persons responsible for these shootings," Police Chief Murphy Paul said.
Early Saturday morning, seven people were injured when gunfire broke out inside a night club. Videos on social media show the moments leading up to the shooting at the Stadium Ultralounge & Bar on Florida Boulevard. Two people sustained life-threatening injuries.
One military veteran is being hailed as a hero for his life-saving actions during the Stadium Ultralounge shooting after running back into the club to help his friend, who had been struck by a bullet.
Just after 9 p.m. Saturday, police say a 14-year-old girl was shot in the parking lot of the AMC theater near the Mall of Louisiana. The girl was reportedly shot in the pelvic area before running to Dick’s Sporting Goods for help. She was transported to the hospital for treatment.
“Historically, certain types of crime have spiked in the summer months, but to those affected by crimes it doesn’t matter when they occur. We are adamant about stopping this and we ask again for your assistance,” police posted to Facebook Sunday.
Monday morning, the fifth shooting investigation began in the capital city after a shooting on Calumet Street sent one person to the hospital in critical condition.
Coppola says none of these incidents are related. This rash of shootings breaks, what he says has been a quiet summer so far.
“You have seen a little uptick in crime, some crimes in the summer months,” he said. “That hasn’t been the case so far for us outside of this weekend.”
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said in a Facebook post Sunday she will lead a solutions-driven meeting to address the gun violence in the community.
Police are asking for anyone with information about any of these shootings to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867) or email www.crimestoppersbr.com with any anonymous tips. He also said residents can email the city police department at BRPDInfo@brla.gov or directly call the Violent Crimes Unit at 225-389-4869.