Baton Rouge residents concerned over violent weekend

Wonder if neighborhoods are still safe

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 6:59pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- It was a busy weekend for Baton Rouge police. Three people were shot in two separate shootings. Now, some people that call Baton Rouge home say they're concerned for their safety.

Janel Webber was shocked when her sister's next-door neighbor was shot and killed in his car over the weekend. Around 9pm Friday, a Toyota truck slammed into a house on Andover Street. No one inside the home was injured, but 71-year-old Joseph Martin was in the truck. He was dead from a gunshot to the head.

The next day, two people were shot at the 1500 block of North 23rd Street. One of them was a 13-year-old girl. The other, a 27-year-old man. Police say the shooting happened after an argument around 2:30 in the afternoon. The man is in critical condition. The 13-year-old suffered non life-threatening injuries.

Some say the senseless killings have to stop. "Why are you thinking about killing people at a time when you're supposed to be with your family, and if you have kids, with your kids?" asks Webber.

She says the shootings have become all too familiar. "They're just staying with the same traditions as their parents kept up and their cousins, and just staying in that rut."

The more it happens, the more local residents worry that they're no longer safe in their own neighborhoods. "Who's safe? He was just driving in his car!" Webber says of Martin's death. "Who's safe? It could happen to anybody. That's how you feel when you're in this area. It could happen to anybody."

This year alone, the officials with the coroner's office say there have been three homicides this year. That's up from one homicide this time last year.


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