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Child hit, killed during police chase in Baton Rouge Wednesday

3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago May 31, 2017 May 31, 2017 Wednesday, May 31 2017 May 31, 2017 10:46 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: WBRZ staff

BATON ROUGE – Crime scene investigators from various agencies mixed with family and friends of a deceased child were at the scene of a bizarre and tragic crime Wednesday evening.

By nightfall, detectives were still piecing together the sequence of events that left the 12-year-old lifeless across Old Hammond Highway. Work putting everything together will likely last well into Thursday morning, and will be the responsibility of State Police.

The child died after being hit by a suspect, fleeing from Baton Rouge Police working a drug sting. Around 5:30 Wednesday evening, the child was killed when a car driven by Joshual Hilton, 32, of Baton Rouge, who authorities said drove down Old Hammond Highway in an attempt to evade them after being shot by the officers elsewhere. According to an affidavit, the 12-year-old boy ran across the street to get out of the way of the pursuit when Hilton struck him in his vehicle. Arrest records note, that the vehicle Hilton was driving was reported stolen from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to police, the officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave at this time.


(Image: Joshual Hilton)

The child was hit, sources said, was walking home and died almost in front of his home at the corner of Gloria Drive and Old Hammond. 

Neighbors identified the child as “Sammie” and was known around the area as a good kid, one they said was an all around good boy.  Thursday morning, the coroner identified the child as Samuel Lee III.

“He was a wonderful child… he did not deserve this,” neighbor Brenda Whittenberg told WBRZ News 2.

Family of the child met with authorities at the crime scene.

In an interview Thursday, the boy's mother said her son was excited to grow up.  "He was excited to be making thirteen this year... he wanted to be a teenager, he would always come up to me, [and say], 'Momma, momma, I'm getting hair under my arm,'" his mother said.  Click HERE to read more. 

The suspect stopped after hitting the child in his vehicle and a witness said the man got out of the car covered in blood, likely from the gunshot wound received when he was shot by police at the beginning of the chase. Hilton, the driver, was taken to a hospital and treated for the gunshot wound.  Hilton was then booked into jail, charged with manslaughter, reckless operation and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. 

Friday, Hilton was charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer, related to what sources said was an attmept to run over a cop before the chase started.  WBRZ.com was first to report those details HERE.

While the investigation has been turned over to Louisiana State Police, the Baton Rouge Police Department issued a statement late Wednesday.

"We feel confident that the state police will investigate this incident fully as per our Memorandum Of Understanding. However, in the midst of the investigation, we feel we should acknowledge the tragedy in which a child lost his life as a result of the suspects actions. Our heart goes out to the family at this difficult time," Dabadie released in a statement. 

Dabadie said he is confident in the job State Police will do reviewing the case going forward.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's office released the following statement late Wednesday night:

"This series of events that took place earlier this evening are currently being investigated by the Louisiana State Police. Unfortunately, a child tragically lost his life. I ask that the community join me in surrounding the family with prayers tonight."

No police officers were injured in the altercation.

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