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Nine teens arrested in four murders in less than three months

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BATON ROUGE-- Three teens are in juvenile jail Thursday night, accused of murdering a 17-year-old near the Mall of Louisiana over the weekend.

It's the latest in what officials say is an alarming number of teenagers arrested for killings in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Since the beginning of December to today, nine teenagers have been arrested in four murders; three of those victims were also teens. Authorities are looking for possible connections among the crimes. 

“It sure seems that recently, the last several months, late last year, early this year, we've seen a lot more juveniles that are alleged to be committing very violent, serious offenses,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

It started on December 2 on Ottawa Drive. Javon Brown, 17, was fatally shot while walking home from his bus stop.

Three teens, 18-year-old Davaughn Tate, and two 16-year-olds, Jeffery Tate and Kevin Anderson were arrested in his murder.

Davaughn Tate was indicted on Wednesday for the early December killing.

On Christmas Eve, 17-year-old Gervonte Taplin was shot and killed in his Millerville area home. His 10-year-old brother was also injured.

Last week, 17-year-old Koverias Garner was arrested in Taplin's murder. Deputies said Garner is a member of a street gang known as “The 300.”

Following that fatal shooting, 74-year-old Angela Haymon was shot and killed in her driveway on Morel Avenue Dec. 30.

Two brothers, Xavier Cade, 15, and Gerome Cade, 16, allegedly tried to break into a car before the shooting. The two were arrested shortly after the murder.

Fast forward to February 8, 17-year-old Gyron Lebeuf was gunned down on the Grove Avenue near the Mall of Louisiana.

"And the ages of young people that were allegedly involved are ages 14, 15 and 16,” Moore said.

Moore is infuriated by the number of teens accused in these recent killings.

"It has seemed to have picked up a little bit lately,” Moore said. "You know you can't retract that bullet. Once the shot is fired it's deadly and it's not a game."

The DA’s office is not taking this series of serious crimes lightly. Authorities are looking at the bigger picture in perspective to these murders.

"It's something that we really need to be concerned about and pay attention to. Why is it happening? How is it happening? How are these youngsters getting their hands on weapons?” Moore said.

The 14-, 15- and 16-years-olds accused in this weekend's shooting are due in juvenile court on Friday.

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