BR.gleasonupdate.092017049 .jpg

Kenneth James Gleason, 23, of 5144 Sandy Ridge is led from the LSP Violent Crimes Unit after being charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and Illegal Use of a Weapon by the Baton Rouge Police Department Tuesday. Escorting Gleason is, BRPD Det. Sandra Watts, left and BRPD Det. Robert Cook, right.

Advocate Staff Photo by PATRICK DENNIS

Kenneth Gleason was booked Tuesday in the deaths of two black men, as well as another shooting. 

Gleason, 23, faces charges of first degree murder in the killings, which police have said were possibly racially motivated. Officials declined to speculate further on Tuesday, saying the case remained under investigation

Below is what's known about the case so far, as well as other key details:


• Gleason is accused of killing two unarmed black men — Bruce Cofield and Donald Smart. Cofield was homeless, and Smart was walking to his job as a dishwasher at Louie's Cafe when he was killed, police said. 

Both killings followed the same description, police said, with a man initially firing from a vehicle before emerging and continuing to fire at the men. In both shootings the man was believed to have been wearing dark clothes and a tactical vest.


• In addition to the killings, officials revealed Tuesday that Gleason is suspected of firing at a black family's home in his neighborhood the day before the first fatal shooting

No one was killed when three bullets were fired through the door of the home. Gleason faces two counts of attempted first degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property in connection with that shooting.

Tonya Stephens, who lives in the home, said one of the bullets traveled through a couch, under a chair, out a back window and through a wall into a back storage shed, Stephens showed The Advocate Tuesday, pointing at one remaining bullet hole.

Stephens said she wasn’t home at the time, but her sons, 19-year-old Joshuwa Anderson and 22-year-old Corey Anderson, were in their bedrooms watching Netflix and heard the three shots.

Stephens said her younger son saw Gleason sleeping shirtless in his red car multiple times.

+1 
BR.gleasonupdate.092017122 .jpg

EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore, III, holds up evidence photos during a press conference after the charging of Kenneth James Gleason on two counts of First Degree Murder and Illegal Use of a Weapon in the shooting deaths of two Baton Rouge men last week. Moore said the case is a possible death penalty case.


• Gleason was arrested and released twice before he was ultimately taken into custody for the killings. He was initially stopped on Saturday, when an officer spotted a vehicle matching the description and took Gleason into custody, where he was questioned. Search warrants were issued, which led to Gleason's arrest on two unrelated drug counts. Gleason posted a $3,500 bond and was released from prison on Sunday.

On Monday, Gleason was arrested again on a theft that occurred Wednesday at a book store on Towne Center Boulevard. Moore said that Gleason is accused of stealing a copy of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy."

He was booked into prison on one count of theft and released on a $500 bond early Tuesday.

Can't see the video below? Click here. 

 


• Gleason, who lived in the 5100 block of Sandy Ridge Drive, was recently in Phoenix, Arizona where he received a traffic citation and was also busted for shoplifting, according to a report. Gleason was arrested for shoplifting from a Target on Dec. 28, 2016, according to a report from The Associated Press. His citation for speeding came in January, but was dismissed in Phoenix Municipal Court on May, 5, 2017.  


• A law enforcement official says a copy of an Adolf Hitler speech was found at Gleason's home during a search. The official spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Detectives also found marijuana and human growth hormone in Gleason's bedroom and bathroom, and noted that he did not have any valid prescriptions for the drugs, according to his arrest report.


• Gleason grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated cum laude from Baton Rouge Magnet High School, a selective program often referred to as the city's flagship public school.

He became an Eagle Scout in September 2012, completing a construction project at St. John's United Methodist Church to earn the title — an achievement shared by only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts, according to the organization.

Gleason attended LSU for one year starting in the fall of 2012. LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said a student under that name transferred from Baton Rouge Community College and continued through the fall 2013 semester.