Police, neighbors react to violent weekend in Capital City

Police and neighbors in Baton Rouge are reacting to a violent weekend in the Capital City.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Police and neighbors in Baton Rouge are reacting to a violent weekend in the Capital City.

Police said nine people have been shot in Baton Rouge since Saturday, May 20, and four of them are dead.

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Three of the shootings happened on Monday, May 22, resulting in East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and other leaders calling for peace in the city.

“You look at law enforcement as the check all to deal with issues, but we are not,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department. “It is a community problem. We rely on those members to let officers know what is going on.”

Monday’s shooting on North Acadian Thruway unofficially marks the 29th victim dead to gun violence within the city limits this year.

Police said the male victim was sitting in his car at a red light when someone pulled up next to him and opened fire, hitting him several times. He died at the scene.

The victim was identified as Courtney Brown, Jr., 25.

“In time, you can see the slope of the progression of change. From verbal arguments to fist fights, now it’s pulling guns,” added Sgt. McKneely.

At the scene of another shooting off College Drive, one neighbor called for an end to the violence.

”It is sad, pitiful,” said the neighbor. “What’s the reason why? It is hard to describe.”

Living in this particular part of town, the neighbor said, is not usually cause for alarm.

”As far as neighborhoods, it is not too bad. But it could be better,” added the neighbor.

Police said they do not believe any of the eight different shooting scenes are connected to each other.

”This is happening inside homes. It is the behavior. In an effort to stop the violence, it takes schools, non-profits, parenting,” explained Sgt. McKneely.

The mayor said city-parish officials believe data collected after last year’s Summer of Hope shows the events helped to reduce crime. This year’s program is a bit longer, running a total of 15 weeks.

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