Victim’s Voice: “Never thought a casual day at the mall would lead to something like that”

baton rouge mall shooting

BATON ROUGE — It was just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 when a driver found themselves caught in the crossfire between two feuding parties engaged in a shooting near the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

“My immediate thought was fear,” said 60-year-old Kevin Greenhouse from Baton Rouge. “I didn’t know whether or not I was hit because I knew it was a gunshot. My biggest concern was getting to safety. I never thought a casual day at the mall would lead to something like that.”

Greenhouse recounted being at the Mall of Louisiana on Bluebonnet Blvd. that Saturday for some casual shopping. He tells UWK that while in his truck, leaving the mall and waiting to turn onto Bluebonnet Blvd., he heard “rapid gunfire.”

“When I got to the traffic light, I heard rapid fire, consecutive shots. At that point, I was kind of puzzled. I thought, ‘Man, that sounds like gunshots.’ As I thought that, I heard something hit my truck. Once it hit my truck, I realized my truck had been shot at,” he explained.

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Officials reported that two individuals had just left the Pluckers restaurant and were in their vehicle when occupants of another vehicle engaged in a shootout. Unfortunately, Greenhouse happened to get caught in the crossfire.

“I did not see the other vehicles. All I heard was the rapid gunfire. Oh man, it was scary. I started checking my body because I knew it was gunshots. Being a former soldier, I recognize gunshots, so I immediately began to check myself. Then I heard and felt a bullet or something penetrate my vehicle,” said Greenhouse.

Despite the fear, his initial instinct was to distance himself from the gunfire, not knowing where it was coming from. He drove up Bluebonnet Blvd. and stopped at the first store he found. Greenhouse got out of his truck and discovered a bullet hole at the bottom of the truck door. He then called 911.

In that moment, Greenhouse’s thoughts centered on what could have happened if he or anyone had been walking during the shootout.

“You just wonder about people’s mindset. One of the biggest things I took from that was, ‘What if I had been walking? Someone would have gotten shot.’ It’s just how careless people are and how they do not value other people’s lives because that bullet has to land somewhere. It’s one of those things where I’m thinking the situation could have been worse off, but thank God that it wasn’t.”

Officials reported that the two parties engaged in the shootout were not injured.

The shooting near the Baton Rouge mall happened on a Saturday late afternoon when many people are out and about, especially at a mall. The shooting happened before sunset, and anyone could have been hit. Greenhouse expressed gratitude that no one was actually shot. As for returning to the Mall of Louisiana, he stated, “No time soon. I can tell you that.”

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However, Greenhouse emphasized that people cannot live in a bubble and should not stop living their lives. He mentioned that, for his children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, he would not discourage them from going to the Baton Rouge mall, regardless of the shooting incident.

“Well, you know I’m not going to let one incident deprive me of living and let a few people who decide they lack integrity interfere with my desire to live. The thing I would do, I would definitely have a conversation with them and tell them to be careful and be aware of their surroundings and to keep their heads on a swivel. Just be very, very careful of your surroundings. That’s the advice that I would give them. I wouldn’t deter them from going because this could have happened anywhere in Baton Rouge. We have to live. We can’t live in a bubble,” Greenhouse concluded.

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