A man and woman — both homeless — were found shot to death Friday afternoon under the North Boulevard overpass, authorities said.
Both were pronounced dead on the scene. Their bodies were covered in blankets, lying next to a shopping cart parked on a patch of grass while police launched their investigation and waited for the coroner's office to arrive.
It's unclear when the shootings occurred. Someone walking in the area discovered the bodies of 40-year-old Gregory Corcoran and 53-year-old Christina Fowler just before 1 p.m. on South 16th Street, under the North Boulevard overpass, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said. Police responded to the scene and roped off the entire area under the overpass.
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Several people gathered outside the crime scene tape, including some who work at and frequent the various organizations in the area that provide support services to those experiencing poverty and homelessness.
One neighborhood resident, Dallas Howard, 30, said the shooting raises concerns about violence in the area, which he said sees more drug activity than most. It's usually peaceful, but some other recent instances of gun violence have left him worried.
"This seems to happen quite frequently around here," he added. "But I'm kind of shocked that it happened in the middle of the day like this."
About three blocks from where the bodies were found, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul operates two, separate shelter facilities for the homeless on its campus, one for men and the other for women and mothers and their children.
“We try hard at St. Vincent de Paul to encourage the homeless to come and seek help,” said Michael Acaldo, the chief executive officer of the nonprofit. "Sleeping outside is not safe."
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, at its 220 St. Vincent de Paul Place campus, houses 100 to 150 men, women and children per day, he said.
On any given day, an additional 400 to 900 people receive other services, including meals, prescriptions and case management.
Three dozen homeless people who regularly camp out underneath the North Boulevard overpass in Baton Rouge now have a roof over their heads, at…
"We as a community have to feel that pain and do everything we can to make sure those kinds of things do not happen,” Acaldo said when contacted for comment about the homicides.
Last year, the city-parish through grants provided temporary housing for 31 adults and 5 children who were then living under the overpass. That action was taken after developers made a request to temporarily fence off the area to house construction equipment used in the redevelopment of a 6-acre former Entergy site into the mixed-use Electric Depot development now open on Government Street.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact police at (225) 389-4869.