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Two people were killed and another six wounded Saturday in three different shootings Baton Rouge on the Fourth of July. 

A triple shooting in the 700 block of East Buchanan Street near Highland Road left one dead and two injured just after 2 p.m., according to Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely.

Both injured victims were taken to a nearby hospital.

Just over an hour later, four people, including two children, were injured in a drive-by shooting in the 11300 block of Greenwell Springs Road. 

An East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office release said the injuries of all four victims are not considered life-threatening.

The victims were in a vehicle when a passing vehicle's occupants shot at them, deputies said.

Then about 5:30 p.m., one person was killed in a shooting in the 4600 block of North Fuller Place.

East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services confirmed it responded and one victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities have not identified any of the victims, suspects or motives in the three shootings as of Saturday night.

Officials already are worried about a rising violence rate across Baton Rouge in a year that's shaping up to become the city's most murderous year on record.

The parish has seen more homicides during the first half of 2020 than over the same period for each year in the past decade.

Summer is often a peak time for gun violence when people are spending more time outside, children are out of school and temperatures are rising.

Add to that the coronavirus pandemic that has forced children home from school earlier in the year, closed businesses and left many people unemployed, and East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III likened it to having two summers as far as the gun violence rate goes.

Officials have compared the mid-2020 surge in violence to the aftermath of the 2016 floods when thousands of people were displaced and in crisis. The violent crime rate gradually rose in the months thereafter and culminated in the latter part of 2017 when the parish recorded its deadliest year on record, with 106 homicides.


Email Emma Kennedy at ekennedy@theadvocate.com.