Corey Anderson, 22, was watching Netflix in his bedroom early Sept. 11 when he heard gunfire.
At first he thought the sounds were coming from the street, but after he peered down the hallway and into the living room, he saw three bullet holes in his front door and another in a back window, where one of the bullets had exited the house after flying through the foyer and living room.
“I called my mom and said, ‘They’re shooting over here,’” Anderson said.
As he was talking to her, he walked into the living room where he heard the glass front door “crackling from the bullets.”
"I was so shocked because you don’t really hear that around this neighborhood,” Anderson said. “After I heard them, I heard somebody run to their car. Then the car was gone. I got up and I went to check on my brother.”
The only other person at home at the time was Anderson’s brother, Joshuwa Anderson, 19, who was in his bedroom. No one was injured in the shooting.
Baton Rouge police on Tuesday arrested 23-year-old Kenneth James Gleason, who lives on the same street as the Andersons, and booked him on two counts of attempted first-degree murder along with aggravated criminal damage to property in the incident at the Anderson’s.
Gleason was also booked on two counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shootings of Bruce Cofield, 59, on Sept. 12 in the 3400 block of Florida Street; and Donald Smart, 49, on Thursday in the 3000 block of Alaska Street.
One of the three bullets that struck the house traveled through a couch and under a chair where the Andersons and their friends often sit and play video games.
Tonya Stephens, Corey and Joshuwa’s mother, was at work when she got the call from her son.
Stephens said she has lived on the street with her sons for almost six years and has always felt safe. After the shooting, her family stayed overnight in a hotel because she didn’t feel safe in her own home for the first time.
“I just couldn’t figure out what or why. I’m questioning my boys, ‘Have you been in an altercation with anyone? Have your friends? Why would someone do this to us?’” Stephens said of how she felt after the shooting. “It’s like they really wanted to hurt someone to come up that close and shoot through a door.”
Since the shooting, Stephens stitched up a hole in her couch left by a bullet, fixed the front door, purchased a gun and had video cameras and an alarm system installed.
“You can’t ever be too careful and with this being this close, I’m living by a deranged lunatic? A murderer? I just want to cry,” Stephens said. “At the same time, I’m relieved that he’s off the streets. He could have killed someone else.”
Stephens said her younger son saw Gleason sleeping shirtless inside his red car multiple times while it was parked in his driveway.
Corey Anderson said that Gleason was often seen yelling at a woman outside of his house before getting in his red car and driving off at a high rate of speed down their quiet street that has a 30 mph speed limit. Anderson said he wasn't sure whether the woman was related to Gleason.
Anderson said he always kept an eye on Gleason because Gleason gave him a “funny feeling,” he said.
Investigators initially said the two fatal shootings may be racially motivated, but police said Tuesday they were investigating all possibilities for a motive.
Stephens and her sons are the only black family on Sandy Ridge Drive. The two men Gleason is accused of killing also were black.
Corey Anderson said he heard the report that race may have been a factor in the shooting.
“I just can’t believe you would shoot somebody just based on their skin color like that,” Anderson said.
Stephens said she has never had any problems with her neighbors and that her next door neighbors have been very supportive. She felt relieved Tuesday after hearing that police had arrested Gleason.
“He could have come back. He lived right there,” Stephens said of Gleason. “What would stop him from walking back a few houses down and finishing the job? Or seeing one of my boys come home from work and walk up to them and kill them?”