Update, Monday, Feb. 26: Woman shot to death in Baker was accidentally hit as boyfriend shot at dog, police say
A woman was shot and killed during a possible domestic dispute in Baker early Sunday just two weeks after she gave birth to a baby girl, authorities said.
Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn said Sunday that Cherish Faith Smith, 23, was shot in the stomach around 4:20 a.m. in the 2400 block of McHugh Road. She was taken to an area hospital by private vehicle and later died of her injuries.
Rhykem Rogers, 27, who lived in Baker with Smith and their children, was taken into custody early Sunday after neighbors called police and reported hearing several shots.
Despite having initially considered murder charges, Dunn said Sunday evening that authorities planned to arrest Rogers on negligent homicide and illegal discharge of a firearm because they suspected he was possibly shooting at a dog, not at Smith.
Rogers was booked into Parish Prison Sunday evening, the prison booking office confirmed. The actual booking charges were not available Sunday evening.
The police chief could not confirm the exact relationship between Rogers and Smith, but court filings from 2016 refer to Smith as Rogers' girlfriend.
Dunn said Smith was already being taken to the hospital in a private vehicle when officers arrived on the scene. Two children were home when the shooting occurred — daughters ages 2 weeks and 3 years.
Neighbors said they were shocked to hear that tragedy had struck on their quiet residential street in Baker. A small dog remained tied up outside the house in which the shooting occurred as detectives continued to examine the scene for evidence into the afternoon Sunday.
Dunn said police had possibly responded to that address previously in response to a domestic violence call. Another woman who has at least one child with Rogers has received multiple protective orders against him starting in 2013 when she told police he had choked and beaten her, according to court documents.