The former mayor of Vinton was found dead from apparent gunshot wounds in his home in a low-crime Baton Rouge neighborhood early Saturday morning, police said.
David Riggins, 64, was shot off Old Hammond Highway after a dispute and died at the scene, police said. The coroner has scheduled an autopsy for Monday.
A Baton Rouge police spokesman confirmed that Vernon Mosby, 32, was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on second-degree murder and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police reported that Mosby arrived at Riggins’ residence “unannounced and uninvited” to find someone else in the house he had learned about via a dating app. Mosby claims that he left his eight-year-old daughter in the car as he called on the house.
Mosby states that he “jumped” the back gate of the property when he arrived and knocked on the doors and windows. Riggins opened the door to confront Mosby with a gun pointed at him. According to a witness who was not named in the police affidavit, Mosby charged Riggins and the two began to fight.
At some point, the gun discharged, wounding Riggins in the neck. Mosby left and called emergency communications to the scene before returning, where he was apprehended by authorities.
Residents of the quiet, dead-end street of Knights Bridge Court in the gated community of St. Regis Place were horrified at the news of Riggins' death and shocked to learn that their sleepy corner of Baton Rouge was now the scene of a violent crime.
“You kind of know everybody,” neighbor Kim Berthold said. “You know what to expect. At least on this street, you know who’s who.”
According to neighbors, Riggins was a warm presence on their block. They said he often took walks and rolled down his window to say hello as he drove past.
“It’s really close to home,” Berthold added. “He was a very, very nice man.”
One neighbor, who did not wish to be named, said he always saw Riggins and his large family visiting and playing in the yard. He pointed out what he believed to be the victim's grandson’s toy car sitting in the grass beside the house.
Though authorities say the emergency call came about 6:30 a.m., many neighbors did not learn of Riggins' death until later in the morning. Some neighbors were just discovering what had happened about noon.
Berthold and her husband heard minor commotion around the time of the incident but believed it was just the sound of a garbage truck until they received messages from worried loved ones asking what they knew about the shooting.
Neighbors emphasized that violent incidents do not happen on their street or subdivision. Other than occasional petty theft, they said, the neighborhood is a safe and close-knit enclave with little crime.
“Everybody kind of watches out for each other for the most part,” Berthold said. “They have community picnics and get-togethers and Christmas parties and stuff. Everybody’s very cordial. I’m very, very shocked.”