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IHOP worker murdered during lunch shift gunfire was work release inmate

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BATON ROUGE – A man murdered on a smoke break at the IHOP on Siegen Lane was a work release inmate, according to records obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit.

Courtney Whitfield, 31, was gunned down behind the restaurant in a wild shooting at lunchtime Tuesday.  A second person was shot in the attack, which unfolded during the busy lunch rush of the shopping corridor between I-10 and Airline Highway.

Whitfield had been assigned a Department of Corrections work release assignment since August, according to records obtained by WBRZ.

A representative at the Siegen Lane IHOP said the restaurant occasionally hires work release offenders but refused to elaborate and funneled questions to IHOP corporate headquarters.

Whitfield has a violent history.  He was most recently sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty in a handful of criminal cases, including assault with a firearm.

Previous arrests include home invasion, battery, possession of cocaine, resisting an officer and traffic offenses.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.  Click here for the latest on the case.  A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the Department of Corrections would have to share information about the work release program.


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