A young woman was shot and killed early Sunday while at a birthday party that had drawn a larger than normal crowd after the gathering was announced on social media.
Donlisha Patterson, 21, was shot while at the party on East Upland Avenue and taken to a hospital where she later died.
Residents described the neighborhood as quiet, where neighbors let one another know if they’re having company.
It wasn’t normal, neighbors said, for there to be a shooting or to have about 100 people jammed into the Merrydale neighborhood near Glen Oaks High School.
But it was a big occasion — an 18th birthday party thrown by Christina Allbritton for her godsister, Jamyrah Keller.
Allbritton, also 18, spread the word on Instagram, a social networking site for sharing pictures, drawing a crowd around her house starting about 10:30 p.m., she said Sunday afternoon.
People — mostly teenagers and young adults — were enjoying the packed party when, about 2 a.m., someone in a black car drove by and fired shots at the crowd, who were in the front yard and in the street, Allbritton said.
Someone at the party pulled a gun and returned fire, she said.
“We were hearing gunshots all night from all over Glen Oaks before our party started,” Allbritton said.
The incidents may be connected, she said, because some people at her party were coming from another party that had already ended, she said.
Allbritton said she did not know Patterson.
Vanessa Trask, who lives down the street, heard the shots at Allbritton’s party and called the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies arrived, people scattered, Trask said.
She heard someone saying, “Man, get up. Get up, man.”
Trask said she thinks that person was trying to get Patterson off the ground to take her to a hospital.
“That keeps playing in my head,” Trask said.
Vehicles, many filled with four or five people, had been packing in and zooming up and down the street all night, Trask said.
“I’ve been here almost 29 years and it’s never been like this,” she said.