Three people in Baton Rouge were killed within six hours Thursday night and Friday morning, bringing the city’s unofficial annual death count to 40, police said.

A man and a woman were found fatally shot just before 3 a.m. Friday in the 9100 block of Kingfisher Avenue, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

Kevin Bowie, 32, and Jessica Parker, 25, both of 1465 78th Ave., were found inside a 1997 Ford Explorer parked in a grassy area near some railroad tracks, McKneely said. The Explorer’s engine was running and the vehicle’s headlights were on.

Detectives believe Bowie and Parker knew their killer or killers and that they might have been in the car with Bowie and Parker at the time of the killings, McKneely said.

As of late Friday, no arrests had been made in the double shooting and no suspects had been named. The motive for the killings is unknown.

Detectives were equally stumped in a shooting that occurred just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Bernard Lands, 51, was found lying on his front porch at 2505 Main St. suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, McKneely said. Lands died at the scene.

Lands’ niece, Latoya Lands, said she and her family heard the shooting was drug-related and that Bernard Lands was not the intended target. A suspect in the shooting surrendered to police Saturday afternoon, according to a news release.

“He wasn’t involved in drugs,” Latoya Lands said. “It was a case of mistaken identity.”

Police have not determined a motive for Lands’ killing but have heard that it might be drug related, McKneely conformed. Police have not heard that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Latoya Lands said her uncle was from Baton Rouge and that he was engaged to be married. He lived with his fiancé and her six children on Main Street.

The couple and their family was moving out of the house, Latoya Lands said. Bernard Lands was moving his clothes out of the home the night he was shot, she said.

“He was a good person,” Latoya Lands said. “He didn’t bother anyone.”

The shootings of Lands, Bowie and Parker brings the number of killings in Baton Rouge this year to 40, McKneely said.

The same amount of people had been slain during the first seven months of 2010, according to police records.

“These horrific acts of violence are indicative of a greater societal problem that, more often than not, have some correlation to the illicit drug trade in America,” Police Chief Dewayne White said. “I am afraid Baton Rouge is not immune to these ills. We, as a community, will win this struggle and not succumb to it.”

Anyone with information about the fatal shootings can contact police at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.