Neighbors expressed shock and concern after a drive-by shooting on a usually quiet suburban street late Friday night, saying it's not the kind of thing they ever expected to see in their neighborhood.
The shooting happened shortly before 10 p.m. in the 3000 block of Crestwood Street in a neighborhood nestled off Cedarcrest Avenue between the Interstate 12 and Coursey Boulevard.
One man was treated at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the leg that was not life threatening, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said. The victim was sitting in a car outside a home on Crestwood Street when a dark vehicle drove up and opened fire.
When the shooter sped away, neighbors said, the man tried to back out of the driveway but only made it several feet before his car stopped in a neighbor’s lawn across the street, where it remained until police arrived.
A teenager who lives next door said she was drifting off to sleep Friday when she heard what she thought was a loud banging noise near her home’s front door. She said her mother ran into her room and told her she could see a car pulled into the neighbor’s front yard with the engine running and the door open.
"I didn’t know what to do,” the girl said. “It’s crazy.”
The car, with the shooting victim at the wheel, was one of several damaged during the shooting, neighbors said.
At the house where the shooting occurred, a white Honda Accord riddled with bullet holes sat in the driveway Saturday. Police evidence markers were placed near the bullet holes on the car and the home, which had at least one bullet hole in a front window and others with shattered glass.
The back windshield of the Honda Accord was blown out, and a passenger window was also shattered. Neighbors said it was not the car the victim was in at the time of the shooting but was in the home’s driveway.
No one responded when an Advocate reporter knocked on the front door of the home where the shooting took place.
One of the few neighbors who agreed to be quoted by name, Brian Dunbar, 30, said he's lived in the neighborhood with his partner since April and was shocked by the violence that erupted in his neighborhood.
Dunbar said he and his partner moved to the family-friendly neighborhood to provide a safer environment for his nephew. He said the sound of gunshots wasn't uncommon during the several years they lived on Roosevelt Street, north of LSU’s campus.
“It’s so hard to imagine it happening here because this neighborhood is so quiet,” he said.
Dunbar said the area is mostly single family homes with a mix of younger families and couples and older residents.
Just after 5 p.m. Saturday, an elderly neighbor was outside tending to her flowering bushes, while several doors down from Dunbar two young boys were throwing a ball in the front yard.
Neighbors spoke of their shock at the brazen crime as cars slowed down and residents peered out at the bullet-pierced white Honda.
Dunbar said people’s most common complaints are cars speeding through the neighborhood in the early morning hours during the work week. The community’s NextDoor app forum is usually quiet, he said, and even minor crimes like package theft are uncommon.
One neighbor, who declined to have her name used for this article, was loading up her car and said she was leaving to stay at her parents' house.
She said the shooting shook her up. She and her boyfriend heard the gunfire and ran to the back of their home to take shelter before calling the police.
“I’m numb, shocked and sad because this neighborhood is usually so quiet and nice. It shouldn’t happen here. There’s a lot of kids on our street,” she said.