Baton Rouge Crime: Homicides in 2024 double compared to this time last year

BATON ROUGE — As daylight gives way to nightfall in Baton Rouge, it has sadly become the norm to hear gunshots or witness police cars with lights and sirens rushing to a crime scene. For viewers, it’s just another news report about another murder or shooting. For officers, it’s yet another crime scene, complete with police tape, shell casings, and people either injured or dead.

The untold truth is that officers are stretched thin, constantly running from one scene to another. Instead of being able to focus on solving one specific case or handling a handful of cases simultaneously, officers find themselves well beyond the FBI’s recommended caseload for detectives.

Adding to this burden is an almost doubling of the number of homicides Baton Rouge experienced at this time last year.

UWK Crime Stat Tracker

As of March 14, 2023, there were 12 homicides in the city. In comparison, this year for the same timeframe, there have been 24 homicides as of March 14, 2024. Last year, it wasn’t until May 1st that the city reached the 24th homicide of the year.

In late February, UWK reported a staggering 113% increase in homicides in Baton Rouge. This percentage continues to fluctuate with each new homicide.

During that period, BRPD Chief TJ Morse aimed to reassure the public that the majority, if not all, of the homicides and shootings this year have been targeted or retaliatory. He emphasized that between BRPD and EBRSO, numerous arrests had been made for drug and gun charges. Since that report, EBRSO has tacked on additional charges to the nine individuals arrested, including a “criminal street gang” charge.

So far in 2024, Baton Rouge has witnessed five triple shootings, resulting in fatalities in some instances, along with multiple double shootings.

Chief Morse added that, in addition to targeted shootings, many of this year’s homicides and shootings are retaliatory, and law enforcement is actively working to gain control over the situation.

“Our officers are out there working tirelessly to investigate these acts,” said Chief Morse. “We’re using all sorts of techniques like boots on the ground, technology, tips from the public and I want to reiterate that majority of the acts so far this year have been retaliatory or targeted. They’re not random.”

This underscores the critical importance of witnesses reporting any information to Crime Stoppers. Not only does the witness maintain anonymity, but there’s also eligibility for a cash reward. More significantly, Crime Stoppers serves as a crucial crime-fighting tool for law enforcement officers.

Anyone with information on any homicides, shooting or other crimes in the Baton Rouge regional area is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP or submit an online tip anonymously.

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