The man found dead from gunshot wounds outside his childhood home on Fairfields Avenue early Friday was struggling with drug addiction but determined to turn his life around, his close friend said at the scene.
Delveckeo Jackson, 42, was shot and killed around 1:15 a.m. in the 4700 block of Fairfields Avenue, Baton Rouge police said in a news release Friday morning. No suspects or motives have been identified.
Wanda Davis grew up with Jackson in Baton Rouge's Fairfields neighborhood and viewed him as a little brother. She said he had chatted with her Thursday morning — the day before his death — and told her about his recent decision to get help, saying he was looking for drug rehab programs.
"That was a big decision for him," she said, noting that Jackson had spent some time incarcerated over the years but had never talked to her about seeking treatment. "I told him to be careful out there and let me know when he was leaving."
Davis said she had been worried about Jackson because someone had attacked him with a baseball bat a few weeks earlier, causing him to need staples for a cut on his head.
She said her friend was loving and fun to be around, always ready with a joke. He called her "big sis" and would often come to her for advice.
"He was not perfect but he was trying to get it together," she said. "He never got the chance."
Jackson had recently moved into a house he inherited from his dad and was in the process of fixing it up. That house was just down the street from where he was found dead outside his grandmother's home near the intersection of Fairfields and North Acadian Thruway.
He had also completed some training and was looking for a job as a plant operator, Davis said. In the past he'd worked in masonry.
Fairfields was his home. Davis said most everyone in the neighborhood knew him.
Discarded crime scene tape was still wrapped around a telephone pole hours after investigators left the scene Friday morning, marking the spot where Jackson had taken his last breaths. Neighbors reported hearing several gunshots around 1 a.m.
In East Baton Rouge Parish, 62 people people have been killed so far in 2019.
Jackson's death is one of several recent Baton Rouge homicides that appear potentially drug related. Homicides overall are down compared to this time last year, part of a larger positive trend after gun violence spiked dramatically in 2017 with a record 106 murders parishwide. So far this year, 57 people have died in what authorities consider intentional and unjustified killings, according to Advocate records.
Attempts to reach Jackson's family Friday were unsuccessful.