Authorities arrest three suspects connected to string of Baton Rouge robberies
BATON ROUGE – Authorities made three arrests related to their search for the suspects behind a string of Baton Rouge robberies that seemed to target individuals of Latin American descent.
Demarcus Jemal Johnson, 19, was arrested in connection with the robberies as well as a fatal shooting that occurred during one of the robberies. A second suspect, Qumonta Kintral Gross was also arrested in connection with the robberies.
On Monday, Oct. 28 deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spoke with three men who said they were mugged at gunpoint by two African American men in a black SUV who were wearing ski masks. The victims also said a third man acted as a driver for the two masked robbers.
By Nov. 2, police identified the driver as 21-year-old Terrence Hanks and later, one of the robbers as Johnson.
Detectives with Baton Rouge City Police said they’d been looking into numerous armed robberies involving three black males traveling in one of two vehicles -either a black SUV or a silver Toyota Camry.
A police report says during another mugging, on Oct. 9, a man approached two Hispanic men while they were sitting outside of their house and pointed a gun at them, demanding their wallets. After taking their cash and credit cards, the man allegedly ran to a black SUV that was driven by a second suspect, who was later identified as Hanks.
Detectives say during the course of their investigation Gross was identified as the gunman in this Oct. 9 mugging, and he was shortly thereafter identified in a lineup.
According to a police report, during another one of the armed robberies, an Oct. 21st incident, Gross and Johnson got into a fight with their four victims. Police say the fight led to one of the robbers fatally shooting one of the victims. DNA obtained from the firearm used during the fight led detectives to the conclusion that Johnson pulled the trigger that killed the victim.
After investigating this incident along with the other robberies in question, detectives were able to locate an SUV matching the description provided by eyewitnesses. The detectives identified the SUV as a black Toyota Forerunner driven by Hanks. They say footage revealed that the SUV had been used in at least two of the areas where the robberies occurred.
According to a police report, after Hanks was arrested he admitted to driving for the two armed robbers, but the 21-year-old specified that he only acted as the driver, not as one of the robbers.
Hanks was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, his charges including principal to first degree murder and attempted armed robbery with use of a firearm.
Johnson was charged with attempted armed robbery, first degree murder, and aggravated second degree battery. Gross was charged with armed robbery and use of a firearm.