Updated, Sept. 17, 5:45 p.m.: Bond was set for Kenneth Gleason at $3,500 Sunday evening, said East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III. 

Gleason was booked on counts of drug possession Saturday night. Police said Sunday he remained a person of interest in two possibly racially motivated killings but lack sufficient evidence to charge him in those cases.

Updated, Sept. 17, 10:40 a.m.: A Baton Rouge man detained for questioning in two recent slayings of pedestrians is being held on drug counts, as police say they do not yet have enough evidence to arrest him in the killings.

Kenneth Gleason, 23, of 5144 Sandy Ridge Drive, was booked on counts of Schedule I and III drug possession Saturday night, but Baton Rouge Sgt. L'Jean McKneely said Sunday that the 23-year-old remains a person of interest in the apparently random killings.

"We believe (the shootings) could possibly be racially motivated," McKneely said. However, he noted that investigators are still exploring other possibilities.

Detectives found marijuana and human growth hormones in Gleason's bedroom and bathroom, and noted that he did not have any valid prescriptions for the drugs, according to his arrest report. McKneely said they did not have enough evidence to book Gleason in the two linked homicides. 

A bond hearing had not been set for Gleason as of 11 a.m. Sunday, said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore.

McKneely said shell casings from each killing matched and a car belonging to Gleason fit the description of the vehicle police were looking for. He said police have collected other circumstantial evidence but he wouldn't say what it was because the investigation is ongoing.

Police say the shootings happened about 5 miles from each other. The first occurred Tuesday when 59-year-old Bruce Cofield, who was homeless, was shot to death in the 3400 block of Florida Street.

The second happened Thursday when 49-year-old Donald Smart was gunned down walking to work in the 3000 block of Alaska Street.

Both Cofield and Smart were black, and Gleason is white. 

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Original story:

Following an “all out hunt” launched Friday, authorities detained a person of interest Saturday afternoon in the slayings of two Baton Rouge pedestrians last week, according to Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely.

McKneely said the person was taken in for questioning and any further action will depend on what comes out of the interrogation. He said it was too early to say if an arrest will be made.

The first shooting occurred Tuesday in the 3400 block of Florida Boulevard. Police said Bruce Cofield, 59, who appears to have been homeless, was shot to death.

The second shooting occurred Thursday night in the 3400 block of Alaska Street. Police said Donald Smart, 49, was found lying dead in the road, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Both shootings happened between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.

In each case, the gunman shot the men, both of whom were on foot, then exited his car and "shot them to death,” according to an internal Baton Rouge police bulletin that was disseminated to Louisiana law enforcement.

In both killings, the shooter was wearing dark clothes, including possibly a tactical vest, and carrying a 9-mm handgun. Video shows the man driving a red, four-door "small, older sedan with shiny rims," the bulletin says.

Police said the two killings were linked by a national ballistics database, according to the bulletin.

To contact a crime reporter at The Advocate, email PoliceReporters@theadvocate.com or call (225) 388-0369.