Baton Rouge murder rate drops 18%, fentanyl deaths triple the murder rate in Capital City

BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge, previously ranked among the top 10 deadliest cities in the country due to its high murder rate, has experienced a significant decline in 2023.

“Going in the right direction”

With 27 days remaining in the year, the Capital City has witnessed 92 homicides in 2023, marking a decrease from the previous year’s count of 114 and indicating a continued downward trend from the peak of 149 recorded in 2021.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but 92 (murders) is still significantly higher than where we should be,” remarked District Attorney Hillar Moore on Monday during a speech to the Press Club of Baton Rouge. He acknowledged that Baton Rouge typically exceeds the national average for murders per capita but highlighted a notable three-month period from August to November when the monthly murder rates dropped to levels not seen since 2019.

“The numbers for those three months were exceptionally low for a parish of our size, considering our history,” Moore observed.

There were two homicides in August, four each in September and October. The last time the parish experienced four or fewer murders in a month was in August 2019. Since then, East Baton Rouge has averaged 10 murders per month.

While those months were below the parish’s average, November 2023 saw an increase, recording three murders during that 30-day period. May had the highest number of murders with 16.

Domestic violence & non-deadly shootings

Out of the 92 homicides documented thus far in 2023, 17 percent were attributed to domestic violence. This represents a decline from the peak observed during the Covid pandemic, with Baton Rouge recording 32 homicides linked to domestic violence in 2021.

District Attorney Moore highlighted another decrease, this time in non-fatal shootings. Baton Rouge experienced a 21 percent reduction in shootings where no fatalities occurred, while the parish witnessed a notable 32 percent decrease.

“Alarming to everyone”

Moore states that not all figures in East Baton Rouge Parish are down, noting an increase in fentanyl overdoses for 2023.

“Where we are not doing so well again this year, and we’re slightly up, is fatal fentanyl overdose deaths. We’re up four percent as of today.” Moore emphasized that fentanyl overdose rates this year are three times higher than the murder count in the Capital City, projecting more than 300 fentanyl-related deaths by year-end.

“It just seems to be that everything is laced or cut with fentanyl. It’s all over our high schools, our colleges, or wherever you go. And that number should be alarming to everyone. We really need to do something about it, but it’s something that’s hard for us to combat on our own. If we don’t stop drugs coming in from the border, or whichever way they come in, whether it’s from the (southern border) or being flown in or with the precursor materials that China is producing, they’re killing Americans … more so than anywhere else.”

Moore highlighted a 15 percent reduction in non-fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl. According to law enforcement experts, this decline is attributed to more first responders having access to Naloxone or Narcan.

“Nobody is safe. No drug that you take anymore is safe. Pills that you take are no longer safe unless you get them from a pharmacist. We’re finding more and more pressed pills.”

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Interested in advertising with us?

We’d love to have you on the team! Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to follow up. 


Let's Connect

Follow along on your favorite social media platform and get the latest updates directly in your feed!

Got a tip on a story?

Submit a Tip

Have a tip on a story? Send it directly to our team using the form below!