*WARNING: SOME OF WHAT YOU WILL SEE IS GRAPHIC CONTENT*
Blaine Rogers’ now has to walk on crutches and he will have to live with two bullets in his body. That’s after a night in Baton Rouge where Rogers thought he was going to just watch some drag racing.
“It got to be about 11:30-midnight, and we all got the text to go meet up at 725 Choctaw, so we all started to head there,” said Rogers.
What happened afterwards was all caught-on surveillance video from a nearby business.
“I was open carrying my pistol. I was standing with my fiancée, my co-worker, my co-worker’s girlfriend and somebody I had met that night at the meet, and they were asking me about my pistol. So, I unloaded it, took the clip out, took the bullet out the chamber and I was showing them my pistol,” said Rogers.
Rogers remembers that night, April 16, 2021 at 1:20am, like it was yesterday because he said his life changed forever.
“So here goes, <he> comes up to me, puts a gun up to my stomach and says, ‘Hey lemme get that.’ I look down and back up after I notice a gun. He pulls his pistol up and boom, starts shooting me,” explained Rogers as he watched the surveillance video.
Rogers did make it to his car and the scene cleared out within minutes. He said his fiancée called the police and an ambulance met him and took him to the hospital.
Rogers was hit by four bullets and grazed by another. He said he underwent surgery, was questioned by police and eventually released to go home.
One bullet hit him under the knee and came out on the back of his leg. Another bullet went into the side of his stomach and exited the back. Two other bullets are still in his right butt cheek.
“They cut me open, took all the pieces of shattered bone out because it shattered my bone in half,” said Rogers. “Every time I close my eyes, I see it whether I try to or not. Every time I close my eyes, I just relive it. It’s in my head, constant loop of the gun to my stomach and me looking down the end of the barrel and him shooting me. I go to sleep, and I have dreams that I get shot.”
He’s out of his wheelchair now and on crutches. He’s on nearly a dozen different types of medicine for the pain and to prevent blood clots, plus daily physical therapy.
But since April, Rogers said he’s barely heard much more from the Baton Rouge Police Department, who is the lead investigating agency on this case.
“BRPD wouldn’t air it or go any further with it,” said Rogers.
But BRPD’s Chief Murphy Paul and his staff have failed to respond to the numerous requests for interviews. It’s why I cannot tell you the “why” behind Rogers’ statement.
However, I did show the surveillance video to former Baton Rouge Police Chief Greg Phares to get his opinion.
“Tragically Kiran, what we just witnessed is just another night in Baton Rouge: a gathering, an illegal drag race, an attempted armed robbery, which ended in a shooting, fortunately not a fatal shooting, but many of them are and this one just as easily could have been,” said Phares.
Phares, who has been in law enforcement for 49 years now, said police should be proactively patrolling, shutting down the drag race and large gatherings to begin with.
“You had a crowd there. He will have known some of them. There were witnesses clearly. This was an attempted armed robbery and attempted murder. Those are violent serious felonies that could have just as easily resulted in the loss of this young man’s life,” said Phares.
Also, among the crowd, Phares said are plenty of witnesses. Rogers however, said his friends told him that no one from the department questioned them. His fiancée said she was only questioned the night of the shooting at the hospital, but nothing since then.
“In general, if you don’t have a good lead and this was two months plus ago, Crime Stoppers has been a pretty successful tactic over the years,” said Phares.
But that’s what Rogers claimed the department will not do, put this video on Crime Stoppers and air it for the public. Again, the chief nor his staff will respond to answer the why it cannot be aired on Crime Stoppers.
Phares said the video is extremely valuable. Even though it’s difficult to make out who the suspect is, he said it clearly shows what happened and shows possible witnesses who could lead to the person who shot at Rogers.
“You’ve got to get those people off the streets and in jail. The way you prevent crime is to put criminals in jail, so they do not commit more crimes. You interrupt their careers early. If you leave them out of the street, they’re going to do the same thing again. More people will get shot and the next one may as well be fatal,” said Phares.
“The dude is probably running around scot-free probably robbing more people and the police department, I don’t know what they’re doing,” said Rogers. “I mean they should be doing something with me being shot. He was trying to kill me man. He was trying to kill me. He shot eight times. They found eight bullet casings. I counted every time the gun fired. I counted one, two, three. Every time I got hit, I counted one, two, three.”
“The message seems to be we can do whatever we want to after dark pretty much anywhere in Baton Rouge and nobody is going to interrupt it,” said Phares. “It’s truly starting to affect people’s sense of safety in Baton Rouge in the sense of how I can live my life the way I want to live my life because all these bullets are flying.”
According to statistics from sources, so far this year, nearly 250 people have been shot or killed within the city limits of Baton Rouge. That does not include other killings within all of East Baton Rouge Parish. Plus, over 150 non-fatal shootings, meaning someone was shot and survived. In fact, 184 people have been hit by bullets and lived.
Phares said if it weren’t for the advanced trauma care, he suspects the murder rate of Baton Rouge would be even higher than the record-breaking rate it’s at right now — second worst in the country based on President Joe Biden.
“It doesn’t matter to them. If I would have died, I would have just been another number picked up off the street in a bag. I don’t mean nothing to them,” said Rogers. “I guess our tax dollars are being wasted because they’re not doing anything with this. I’m sitting here. It’s been over two months. I’m sitting here. I can’t work. I’m struggling bad. I can’t pay bills. You should open the fridge and see what’s not in there.”
“He can’t go out and get justice for himself. That’s why we have police. That’s why we have law enforcement. That’s why we don’t have vigilantly law. It’s the moral responsibility of law enforcement to interpose themselves between criminals and victims
so, you don’t feel like you have nobody standing up for you,” said Phares.
Despite all his hardships, Rogers said he counts his blessings to be alive, most importantly, so his two-year old daughter will not grow up without a father, but he also said he deserves justice and an arrest that may prevent the same duo from possibly doing the same, if not worse, to others.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they don’t see that. They don’t care,” said Rogers.