Baton Rouge police officers on Monday night shot and wounded two men accused of trying to run over police in the parking lot of a popular strip mall on Perkins Road.
The shooting, which followed a police chase initiated by state Department of Public Safety officers, brought the total shootings in East Baton Rouge Parish within a span of a few hours Monday night to three, including one incident where a car carrying several children was shot up on Laurel Street.
The first shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. when a man was shot while walking along Denova Street just off Greenwell Street. The man was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and later released, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
The man told deputies he was shot by people in a passing vehicle, but he didn’t recognize the vehicle, Hicks said. The investigation remains open.
The second shooting occurred about 30 minutes later, about 9 p.m., when a vehicle carrying several small children was shot while traveling in the 2500 block of Laurel Street, Baton Rouge police said.
“It appeared that it was random,” said Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge police spokesman.
Two women were also in the car at the time of the shooting, but it appears no one was struck by a bullet, Coppola said. There are no suspects and the shooting remains under investigation.
The third shooting occurred during the police chase.
State DPS officers initiated the chase about 11 p.m. after seeing a vehicle with only one illuminated headlight, State Police spokesman Lt. J.B. Slaton said. DPS is a branch of State Police, although DPS officers are not state troopers.
Baton Rouge police officers soon joined in the pursuit, which eventually led authorities to the Acadian Village shopping center at the corner of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway.
The fleeing vehicle, a 2006 Mercedes E350, attempted to run over some officers in the shopping center’s parking lot during the chase, said Coppola, the BRPD spokesman.
Officers then fired multiple shots at the Mercedes, striking both the driver and the passenger. None of the officers involved in the shooting were injured, Coppola said.
Police have not identified the two men, 24 and 27 years old, who were wounded, nor have they identified the officers involved in the shooting. The men were taken to a hospital and treated for what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, Coppola said.
The investigation into the officer-involved shooting remains open.
The shooting occurred in a narrow section of the shopping center’s parking lot in front of Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning, a yoga studio and Pei Wei Asian Diner.
The chase came to an end when the Mercedes crashed into a metal railing separating the shopping center’s parking lot from a hill that leads down to Acadian Thruway. Damage could be seen Tuesday morning on the railing and on a light post in the parking lot.
A cleaning crew on Tuesday swept up glass and other debris scattered across the parking lot in the aftermath of the shooting.
The Baton Rouge police officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation, as is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.
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