Southern hoco parade

Route of the Southern University homecoming parade

There were two reports of shots fired on Saturday just blocks from where Southern University's homecoming parade rolled earlier in the day — one report turned out to be unfounded and another resulted in one victim, Baton Rouge police said.

The parade started around 8 a.m. and had wrapped up by about 10 a.m.

The first report was called in around 10 a.m. near Somerset Street and Harding Boulevard, which is two blocks south of the parade route, Baton Rouge Police Spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said. Officers responded to the scene, but were unable to locate the caller or any evidence that shots were actually fired.

Multiple videos posted to social media show the parade continuing as normally before abruptly stopping and running backwards. Paradegoers then scatter, too. There is no audible gunshot in the videos.

About three hours later, one person was shot near the intersection of Sora and Tern Streets, McKneely said.

The shooting was reported at 1:13 p.m. The location is within the route of the Southern University homecoming parade, which had already ended.

One victim was transported to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be non-life threatening, Emergency Medical Services spokesman Mike Chustz said.

Southern University Police Department posted on Twitter that there was no shooting on the campus. They reported that campus is safe and all activities will continue as scheduled.

University spokeswoman Janene Tate emphasized that neither incident happened on campus. She said the university has enhanced security as they always do on game day.

The reports came just hours before an anti-gun violence memorial on Southern University's campus Saturday.

Students and residents from a number of organizations gathered to remember LSU basketball star Wayde Sims and other victims of gun violence. Sims was shot and killed after a fistfight early Friday just south of Southern's Campus.

Dyteon Simpson, 20, of Baker, was arrested Saturday morning on second-degree murder in Sims' death. Baton Rouge police credited the community for coming forward with tips that were key to making the arrest.

Lottie Sanford said she’d been out all morning selling parking spots for people coming to the university’s festivities when she heard shots ring out Saturday afternoon in the incident at Tern and Sora streets.

“I took off running,” Sanford said. “I know we heard at last five shots, five or six.”

Sanford said they were selling parking spots to raise money for a charity through her church, but she doubts they will do it again.

“This was our third year, I think it’s going to be our last,” Sanford said. “You can't even come to church and feel safe. ... This looks bad.”

Baton Rouge Police has almost two full blocks cordoned off with crime tape. A pile of clothes, belongings, medical instruments remained in a pile at the corner of Tern and Sora streets. Sanford said emergency responders had to cut off the victim’s clothing.

At least two cars parked nearby were hit by bullets.

Despite the rash of violence, most people in the area continued with their homecoming festivities: smoking meat, selling snacks, blasting music, gathering nearby. But for Ebony Ranges it was too much. She decided not to bring her two kids out to the gatherings.

“I walked out to this,” Ranges said, who lives near the shooting. “You ain’t safe anywhere anymore.”

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Follow Emma Discher on Twitter, @EmmaDischer.