BR man booked in shooting injuries

Sheriff’s deputies arrested at least one person in a Sunday night shooting north of Baton Rouge that left three people injured.

Deputies booked Vernell Lockett, 18, 2351 Ralph St., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on five counts of attempted first-degree murder and a count of illegal use of a weapon, booking records show.

Lockett is accused of firing several gunshots into a group of people from the passenger side of a vehicle about 8:45 p.m. in the 5800 block of Denova Street, north of Greenwell Street, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Three of the five people present, ages unavailable, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries in the shooting, the affidavit says.

No one was killed.

Lockett had an accomplice in the shooting who was younger than 18, the affidavit says, but it wasn’t clear Monday night whether the minor had been arrested.

Deputies arrested Lockett shortly after midnight following a chase that began near the intersection of Siegen Lane and Reiger Road and ended when the vehicle he was in crashed in a parking lot near the intersection of Interstate 12 and Airline Highway, the affidavit says.

Once in custody, Lockett told detectives that he did fire the gun but he didn’t mean to hit anyone, the affidavit says.

Arson blamed in Coolidge Street fire

Baton Rouge firefighters blamed arson for a Sunday night blaze that destroyed a vacant house at 1136 Coolidge St.

Firefighters arrived at 9:14 p.m. to find the structure engulfed in flames. They had the blaze under control by 9:27 p.m., but they couldn’t save the house, valued at $40,000, according to a Baton Rouge Fire Department news release.

Department spokesman Curt Monte said there was no electrical meter on the home, but Entergy was called to remove a service line compromised by the fire.

The fire happened a few blocks west of a Sunday morning fire at a vacant house on Tennessee Street that investigators also suspect was set intentionally.

Authorities book four on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least four people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 2:30 p.m. Monday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Edward Anderson, 40, 10145 Camwood Road, El Paso, Texas, first-offense DWI and improper lane usage.
  • William Bencaz, 22, 13761 Barrie Drive, Denham Springs, third-offense DWI and careless operation.
  • Roderick Bryant, 50, 7149 Moran Road, Gonzales, first-offense DWI; improper lane usage; and operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.
  • Kevin Wilkins, 44, 208 E. Foch St., Lafayette, first-offense DWI; reckless operation; driver’s license suspended or revoked; possession of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle; littering; and insurance required.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.