At least six people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds — one in critical condition and the others expected to survive — in two separate shootings late Monday afternoon in East Baton Rouge.

The first occurred in a Baker park around 2:30 p.m. and left four people injured, including a child. Police said there were at least two shooters involved.

The second shooting occurred around 4 p.m. at the intersection of Winbourne Avenue and North 38th Street, right by Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge. Someone shot into a car that veered off the road and struck a utility pole, Baton Rouge police said. Two men were injured in that shooting, and one was in very critical condition as of Monday evening.

Dozens of people gathered at the scene on Winbourne Avenue where police focused their investigation on the vehicle involved, a gray Kia sedan that had come to rest at one corner of the intersection. Several bystanders were trying to figure out whose vehicle it was, frantically making phone calls to friends and relatives.

The fear in their voices was replaced with despair when they came to some conclusion. Women held onto each other for support, already anticipating what news they might receive at the hospital. 

Police have not released the identities of those injured. Winbourne Avenue was closed to traffic in both directions. 

News of the Istrouma shooting came less than two hours after four people were injured in a separate shootout in Baker on Burgess Avenue, which is off La. 19. At least two guns were involved, Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn said. All those injured — a little girl, two men and a woman — are expected to survive, he said. They were all transported to the hospital in private vehicles.

Dunn said detectives were interviewing witnesses and suspects, and looking to recover one of the weapons Monday afternoon. Police had not yet determined the exact reason for the shooting, which occurred in a neighborhood park near Burgess and Bodo avenues in the Baker Estates subdivision.

Gun violence in Baton Rouge has ticked up over the past several months, starting not long after the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Louisiana. Other cities across the country have seen similar increases in deadly crime.

The parishwide homicide rate has now reached a historic high as 2020 threatens to break previous records for the most people killed in a year. 


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.