Actually, before the bars had even closed the city had its first murder victim.
And no suspects, meaning almost assuredly this one will go unsolved unless luck intervenes.
Less than two hours into 2018, homicide detectives in Baton Rouge began investigating the city’s first murder of the new year.
The Baton Rouge Police Department identified the victim as Trenity Grimes, 29.
Officials said the deadly shooting happened on Balis Drive, which is near College Drive and I-10, around 1:45 a.m.
They added Grimes was seen in the area suffering from injuries that resulted from a shooting and died at the scene.
Investigators have not yet identified a suspect.
Murder #1 of 2018 came just a couple of days following an explosive end to 2017 on the homicide front, as three fresh murder victims were harvested during a Friday-to-Saturday orgy totalling no less than five shootings.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the Baton Rouge Police Department issued statements regarding the spate of shootings, three of which deadly, that happened in Baton Rouge over a 24-hour span.
The Baton Rouge Police Department will be increasing patrols throughout the city in response to the shootings. In a press release, BRPD said they will be focusing on the areas where crimes are occurring in those patrols.
In a statement, the mayor said, “The recent homicides that have occurred over the past 24 hours are certainly concerning. I assure the citizens that the BRPD is working above and beyond to identify the perpetrators of these crimes, and are intensifying their efforts to enhance safety in our community. We must stand united against the violence.”
“As we enter a new year, we will advance our Crime Reduction and Strengthening Communities Plan of Action as we work with law enforcement. As you prepare for Sunday worship tomorrow, I am asking the citizens of Baton Rouge to unite with me, praying and believing that 2018 will be filled with peace,” Broome said.
There were five shootings in the city in a 24-hour span. Three of those shootings proved to be fatal.
On Friday afternoon, there was a fatal shooting at a beauty salon on Plank Rd., followed by another fatal shooting on Georgia St. in the evening, and a shooting at the intersection of Plank Rd. and Winnebago St. where one male victim was shot.
Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, two victims were shot and killed on Plank Rd. near Airline Hwy. Authorities responded to a fifth shooting around 1 p.m. Saturday where one person was shot and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
With the three fatal shootings on Friday, Baton Rouge topped 100 murders for the year. It’s reportedly a record high (numbers are still being verified) that comes just one year after 2016’s record low of 61 murders.
It does not appear those shootings Friday were related to the news from earlier in the day that Baton Rouge’s mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome had chosen Murphy Paul as the city’s new police chief. Paul, who left a job with the state police’s investigative bureau to take over BRPD, is now the most prominent official charged with bringing down a record murder rate which topped 100 during the Friday rampage.
We might have suggested that the bitter cold weather affecting Baton Rouge this week might have properties in stanching the city’s bleeding. That would be cold comfort to the friends and relatives of Trenity Grimes, of course; when Grimes was killed in an apparent altercation the temperature was 25 degrees outside.