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Council president seeks solution after recent uptick in violence leaves three dead

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BATON ROUGE - Council President Lamont Cole said he's asked the Baton Rouge Police Department to step up patrols in certain hot spots of the city following an uptick in violence over the past week and a half.

It comes after several shootings just blocks apart and within days of each other. After numerous shootings and three recent killings, many area residents are feeling trapped with no way out.

"My concerns are that families who live in those areas don't feel safe in their own homes," Cole said.

On April 23, two sisters were shot at a gathering near the intersection of Geronimo Street and Ozark Street. One was killed. It happened as the family was celebrating the life of one of their brothers who had been shot and killed on Dayton Street days earlier. Dayton Street is eight blocks away from Ozark Street.

Another shooting occurred during the weekend on Geronimo Street at Navajo Street that left an individual in critical condition. Saturday's scene was just two blocks from the April 23 shooting.

Another person was shot in what appeared to be a home-invasion attempt six blocks away on April 24.

"Police officers arrest, the district attorney prosecutes and hopefully judges will sentence away and people realize there is a consequence for your actions," Cole said. He said he was worried that criminals were making it "unsafe for children to be outside."

Cole said what's happening now is deeply troubling because crime historically rises in the summer months. He said there are ongoing discussions to stop the problem at its core.

"We're seeing an increase in crime over the past couple of weeks, and all of us in law enforcement have to think about how we address it: find activities, jobs, economic development so people have something different to do versus resorting to crime," Cole said.


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