2 Louisiana slayings likely racially motivated - police

2017-09-18 09:33
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Baton Rouge - The slayings of two black men in Baton Rouge last week were likely racially motivated, police said on Sunday, and a suspect - a 23-year-old white man - was in custody.

In both shootings the gunman fired from his car then walked up to the victims as they were lying on the ground and fired again multiple times.

The suspect, Kenneth Gleason, was being held on drug charges and was given a $3 500 bond on Sunday evening, a district attorney told The Associated Press. Authorities didn't immediately have enough evidence to arrest him on charges related to the killings, but the investigation was ongoing, Baton Rouge Sergeant L'Jean McKneely told The Associated Press.

"The victims were ... ambushed," McKneely said. "There is a strong possibility that it could be racially motivated."

McKneely said shell casings from the shootings linked the two slayings, and a car belonging to Gleason fit the description of the vehicle used in the killings. He said authorities had collected other circumstantial evidence, but he wouldn't say what it was.

The shootings happened about 8km from each other. The first occurred on Tuesday night when 59-year-old Bruce Cofield, who was homeless, was shot to death. The second happened on Thursday night when 49-year-old Donald Smart was gunned down while walking to his job as a dishwasher at a café popular with Louisiana State University students, McKneely said.

Gleason didn't appear to have any active social media profiles. 

Read more on:    us  |  racism

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