THE INVESTIGATORS: Toddler marks 51st young person killed by gunfire in EBR since 2021
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - According to data the 9News Investigators obtained from the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office, the tragic shooting death of a 3-year-old Tuesday marks the latest in a deadly trend among young people in the Capital City.
Since the start of 2021, the data reveals that 51 young people 21 years old and younger have lost their lives to gunfire across the parish. The youngest victim was a 1-year-old. Unfortunately, District Attorney Hillar Moore says it’s to be expected.
“It looks like we’re just losing generations of young kids to violence and gun violence,” said Moore.
Members of the 100 Black Men and the Baton Rouge Police Department took action Thursday, canvassing the same neighborhood where 3-year-old Devin Page, Jr. lost his life. He was gunned down in his sleep.
Michael Adams, President of the 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge joined police in addressing the media ahead of the canvassing event.
“Our heart goes out to the family of that three-year-old. Our heart goes out to this community because we can do better,” Adams said.
Someone drove up to a home on Fairfields Avenue in the middle of the night Tuesday and opened fire. One bullet flew through the house next door, hitting the toddler. Now several community leaders say enough is enough.
”We all have to be involved and we have to do something that’s going to be impactful to help make a change and make a difference,” said Adams.
Unfortunately District Attorney Hillar Moore says it’s to be expected.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked Moore what his reaction is to the numbers.
“It’s not unusual,” said Moore. “It’s somewhat expected when you see kids advertising their guns on social media and when they’re having beefs.”
Moore was at the scene of that most recent shooting that claimed the life of the toddler and he says the grief never gets any easier to stomach. It’s a crippling level of pain he wishes those who continue to pull the trigger could witness.
”When the young baby was brought out of the house, just hearing and seeing the emotions of the family, particularly the one younger brother,” Moore said. “I just wish that every person that really thinks they want to carry a gun and want to be a badass that want to shoot or has a beef with someone. I wish they could have been there to witness that family’s grief.”
The District Attorney believes the community has to do something to get control of the violence plaguing young people but he fears that by the time community leaders get involved it’s too late. He believes stepping in even earlier than ever before is key.
”We need to get help to these young kids way before they even get to school. It’s got to be prenatal now when we used to think it was get to them before the third grade. We’re way past that,” Moore added.
While Moore says the number of young people who have lost their lives to gunfire in the last year is not surprising, he believes nothing will change unless everyone gets mad enough to do something.”
Everybody has to be angry, mad, upset pissed every time that something like this happens,” said Moore.
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