Police say a 6-year-old boy was shot dead Friday afternoon in the backyard of a home just north of Memorial Stadium and that two children — one of them a 13-year-old — were detained for questioning.
Baton Rouge Police Sgt. L'Jean McKneely said Jahiem Holliday was shot behind a home in the 1700 block of Madison Avenue just before 5 p.m. Investigators said the children had been playing but they weren't sure what led to the gunfire. Initially, police said the children may have gotten into an argument.
Police said it is believed one of the children playing shot Holliday.
“It’s just a tragedy,” Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said. He said he was at home with his own children when he received a call about the shooting.
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He said he had spoken with the victim's mother, “who’s lost her baby.” Officers specially trained for such situations were with her, he said.
The gun, which didn't belong to the victim's family, hadn't been found, McKneely said at the scene about an hour after the shooting.
Paul said detectives were working Friday night to obtain a search warrant to aid their investigation.
Yellow crime scene tape strung among bushes and across the street to a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire kept passersby from an area containing police cars and a coroner's van.
A slender man holding an unlit cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other stood briefly with other residents near the scene and said, tearfully, “That’s my baby.” He walked away from the scene, saying he could not talk any further.
Paul said officers had not yet determined what had happened.
"It's a tragedy still under investigation. Until then it's just speculation," Paul said.