Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BRPD to review warrant execution process after family speaks out

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BATON ROUGE – The city of Baton Rouge will be responsible for making repairs to a home after police burst through the Erie Street residence looking for a suspect who may have once previously lived at the address.

Images were circulated on social media showing damage to the home a family has been renting for a little less than two years. People inside the home described a chaotic ordeal where police used a smoke device and had guns drawn. The house was full of people sleeping at the time, family members have told WBRZ.

The incident happened before sunrise Wednesday. Images shared with WBRZ showed a broken window, a door knocked off its hinges and bedrooms tossed about as police looked for a suspect.

Police took nearly a day to respond to questions about the incident from WBRZ and said Thursday afternoon, an attempted murder suspect had previously lived at the home. Police, it appeared, did not realize the suspect had moved when they attempted to make an arrest this week.

Police said surveillance outside the house before the incident showed a vehicle that closely matched one believed to be driven by the suspect.

As police searched the home and questioned the family inside, it became apparent the suspect did not live at the address.

A Baton Rouge Police Department spokesperson told the WBRZ Investigative Unit Thursday, the incident is “under review” and high-ranking department officials will examine what happened to see “if there was something that could be done better.”

The snafu was supposed to be the chance for police to arrest Jaylon Smullen,20, who is accused in a shooting that left two people hurt, including an 8-year-old girl, on Heidel Avenue in September. Police said during the shooting, Smullen and a second suspect may have been using assault weapons.

Police said Smullen’s driver’s license showed the Erie Street address.

Instead of an arrest, officers left the Erie Street house asking the family to file a claim to cover the cost of repairs with the city’s risk management office.  Police said the repairs will be paid for in full. 

Police said the warrant was not initiated as a so-called "no knock" warrant despite the aggressive way the warrant was conducted because officers did not begin searching the home until occupants were coaxed outside, a department spokesperson said. 

Police identified the second suspect in the shooting case as Joshua Cobb, 36.

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