BRPD: SU shooting victims caught in crossfire, bond set for suspect

Family and friends react to deadly shooting that killed 2 SU students

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An arrest was made in connection with a shooting that killed two Southern University students and injured another man Sunday morning.

Ernest Felton, 22, was arrested on charges of attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon in connection with a Sunday morning shooting. District Attorney Hillar Moore said his bond has been set at $90,000. Judge Beau Higginbotham set the bond amount.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reported the shooting happened while people were gathered outside of a social function at an apartment complex known as The Cottages in the 700 block of Ben Hur Avenue around 2 a.m.

Two 19-year-old Southern University students, identified as freshman Annette January from Gary, Indiana and sophomore Lashuntae Benton from Lake Charles died but a third victim, only identified as a 24-year-old man, was sent the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say Felton allegedly exchanged gunfire with the male victim that's when detectives say both January and Benton were caught in the cross fire and killed.

"It's always tragic when somebody loses their life especially in what appears to be from a violent incident," said BRPD sergeant Don Capolla.

At Southern University, flags are flying at half-staff and the campus at a standstill as the university mourns the loss of the two student athletes.

Korey Washington, a student as Southern University, is Benton's cousin. He said the violence erupted at something that was supposed to be fun.

"It's sad that college students try to go out and you know have such a bad thing happen," he said.

Washington describes his cousin as a ray of light.

The two graduated high school together and Southern was the start of a new adventure, on that he'll now have to finish alone.

"It still haven't really hit home yet, you know," he said. "They called me early this morning and I couldn't believe it. Somebody that's you know right here at school with me. I didn't even get to speak to her last night you know."

Investigators believe the shooting stemmed from an argument between Felton and the third victim.

"Just come clean because I mean what you did was wrong. It's sad like you took two innocent young ladies from their families from their loved ones, you know," Washington added.

Investigators are awaiting test results to determine who is responsible for the shooting deaths of the two 19-year-old Southern University students.

Felton appears to be listed as a former football player with the Southern University Jaguars as a defensive back on the 2012 roster as a freshman.

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