BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A 3-year-old girl was killed in an unsolved shooting Friday, Sept. 4, Baton Rouge police officials said.
Credit cards, loose change, pens, and a child’s flip flop were scattered all over the ditch on South Flannery Road. It’s what’s left behind about 24 hours after a child was senselessly shot.
“It’s just heart-wrenching that this is happening, and we hope that we can get the information on that we need that will help us with our investigation,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Officers say gunfire broke out in the 400 block of South Flannery Road near Darwin Boulevard. Police were first called out around 9 p.m. Officers say the shooting broke out when someone inside a car opened fire on another car, leaving Ibrie Combs, 3, dead. Police say a single bullet hit her.
A neighbor who overheard the gunshots, John Fontenot, says he will never forget what he heard that night.
“I got off the bus last night and I was walking to the house. I heard three shots go off. It sounded like fireworks, but the shots that came after that, it wasn’t fireworks, it was firearms. I could semi-see through the bushes and wait a minute because I got off the road and into a ditch. I started walking this way. Police came and I just backed away. I told one of the lieutenants I heard gunshots,” he said.
Police have not pinpointed a suspect or motive yet, but officials are asking for anyone with information to come forward. East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome condemns the violence as unacceptable.
She posted a video stating, “It’s with heavy heart that I speak with you today. What happened last night in the fatal drive by shooting of a 3-year-old girl, Ibrie Combs, should shake the hearts and consciousness of this community. Violence is always unacceptable, but especially if the child is the victim.”
Officers say the man driving was taken to the hospital after the incident. Police are hoping someone saw what happened and can give them a clue to help capture whoever killed this innocent girl.
Frustration among city residents boiled over on social media after news broke of the shooting.
Mayor Broome released a statement overnight to address some of the concerns raised.
“What happened tonight is absolutely unacceptable and my heart is heavy. There are too many questions that need to be answered. The Baton Rouge Police Department will thoroughly investigate this case and get justice for the family and loved ones. The community has to honor this child’s life. If you know who did this, please contact the authorities immediately.”
“Last night, a beautiful life was taken in our city,” BRPD Chief Murpy Paul said in a press release. “The shameless act of violence has taken the life of an innocent 3 year old child, Ibrie Combs. Baton Rouge this has to stop!!! A baby was killed due to senseless gun violence in our city, and yes, we are angry!!! We are brokenhearted along with the family of Ibrie.”
“This community needs to be angry and brokenhearted as well,” Paul said “This tragedy reminds me of a reality that exists in too many of the homicides in our city.”
“The truth is, someone out there knows something,” Paul said. “The person or persons responsible for this cowardly act remain in our community, and someone knows who they are. Our detectives will be working around the clock to catch the persons responsible for this horrific act. We are determined and will be aggressive with eradicating gun violence in our city.”
Anyone who can help detectives locate the shooter is urged to contact BRPD’s Violent Crimes Unit at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
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