Two men died Friday afternoon in what City Police said was a murder-suicide at TJ Ribs on South Acadian Thruway.
One of the men who died was Raymond Levie, chief of investigations with the East Baton Rouge Parish’s Coroner’s Office, Coroner Shannon Cooper said.
City Police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely identified the man who shot Levie, and then killed himself, as Shawn Jones, 27, 30535 Black Hills Park, Walker.
Levie, 50, 1670 Brightside Drive, had been with the Coroner’s Office for at least eight years, Cooper said.
Police received a call about the shootings at 5:30 p.m.
Levie and Jones, who knew one another, were sitting at a table arguing when Jones grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot Levie several times in the chest, McKneely said.
Jones then shot himself in the head, McKneely said. Both men died at the scene.
“He meant business,” McKneely said of the shooter. “I can tell you that.”
No one else was injured.
The entire incident was captured on video by surveillance cameras, McKneely said. A motive for the shooting has yet to be determined.
“This came as a shock,” Cooper said of Levie’s death. “Raymond has been a friend and associate to all of us (at the Coroner’s Office).”
The restaurant was immediately evacuated and witnesses were escorted to the East Baton Rouge Parish Violent Crime Unit at State Police headquarters for questioning.
Most witnesses drove off before they could be interviewed by the media. Some refused to comment.
Curtis and Shirley Haby, of Helotes, Texas, were in the restaurant during the incident but did not see the shooting occur. They said they were in town for their daughter’s softball tournament.
Shirley Haby said her husband and their daughter’s softball coach — who is a paramedic — ran to Levie’s aid and tried to keep him alive.
“My husband came over and said he knew that neither one was going to make it,” Shirley Haby said.
Kevin Kimball, managing partner of TJ Ribs, was not at the restaurant at the time of the shooting but expressed “shock” and “sorrow” for what happened.
“At TJ Ribs here, the only thing we can do is pray for the survivors,” Kimball said. “They just chose our place.”
Kimball said he was not sure if TJ Ribs would be open Saturday.
Police Chief Dewayne White and Mayor-President Kip Holden made an appearance at the scene because officials believed at first that a police officer was killed, McKneely said.