After news that one person had been killed and three others injured in gunfire at a barber shop on North Foster Drive, dozens of people gathered outside the crime tape Thursday night trying to figure out what happened while Baton Rouge police launched their investigation.
Some of the onlookers were in agony, asking officers on the scene whether their loved ones had been involved. Others started sobbing and embracing each other after receiving bad news.
Still, details remained scarce Thursday night.
Baton Rouge police said officers responded to the scene around 7 p.m. and found the four shooting victims at a barber shop. Three people with gunshot wounds were rushed to the hospital, but medics were unable to save the fourth.
The barber shop, located between another salon and a meat market, sits diagonally across from the Triple S Food Mart, which became a Baton Rouge landmark of sorts after Alton Sterling was killed by police in the parking lot almost five years ago, his death sparking massive protests and drawing national media attention. The area has long been plagued with frequent gun violence.
One man standing outside the crime tape said his partner owned the barber shop, which had just recently opened. He called out to an officer, asking for information, anything to indicate whether his partner was OK, but the request was denied. Most officers aren't allowed to give out details to members of the public or the media.
"I swear to God, it don't make no sense," the man said, thinking out loud about the senseless gun violence.
Many more people parked at the scene and sat in their cars to keep warm amid freezing temperatures. Vehicles filled the Triple S parking lot and surrounded other nearby businesses.
Some people tried to walk under the crime tape, explaining to officers that they just wanted to know who had died, who was wounded but still breathing. When they were turned away, they started speculating based on whose vehicles were parked outside the shop.
While the investigation slowly progressed, the onlookers huddled together speaking quietly. Some embraced each other for warmth, others for comfort, all seeking answers.