A teen was arrested late Thursday on his 16th birthday and accused of killing three people in Scotlandville within a month, police said.
The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, is accused of fatally shooting Kevin Bowie, 32, and Jessica Parker, 25, on July 29 while they were sitting in a vehicle in the 9100 block of Kingfisher Avenue, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
Bowie and Parker were found inside a 1997 Ford Explorer parked in a grassy area near railroad tracks, police have said. The Explorer’s engine was running and the vehicle’s headlights were on.
A month earlier, on June 29, the boy allegedly shot 19-year-old Ashley London while she was sitting in a car in an apartment complex parking lot on Elm Grove Garden Drive, McKneely said.
Another woman was in the car at the time but was not injured.
The motive for all three shootings might have been drugs, McKneely said.
The boy was placed into Juvenile Detention on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said there is no question the boy will be transferred to adult court and that his case could go before a grand jury before the end of the month.
Because of the boy’s age, he would not face the death penalty, only life in prison, Moore said.
Moore said Thursday’s arrest is another example of how important it is to tackle truancy and keep children in school.
He said he is not familiar with the boy’s academic background but assumes he was either not enrolled or habitually truant.
Police Chief Dewayne White called the taking of a human life unconscionable and said “the senseless and unremorseful killing of three members of our community by a juvenile offender is especially offensive.”
“It’s imperative and far overdue, that all of us who live and work here join together to take back our city,” White said. “We have to make Baton Rouge a place where we no longer live our lives in fear of the criminal element.”