Crime experts weigh in after deadly shooting outside Mall of Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Investigators are still searching for the shooters responsible for a fatal shooting near the Mall of Louisiana on Friday, Feb. 25.
Two people were killed, and two others were taken to the hospital after a drive-by shooting on Bluebonnet Boulevard at Picardy Avenue.
Police identified the victims as Donte Dorsey, 18 and Clifton Lindsey, 19.
Shoppers around the mall Monday were still in shock.
“It was really disturbing to see that take place,” said Jeff Rayder. “Certainly, it makes us nervous to see that kind of thing, but we don’t want to live in fear, and we don’t want to live like it’s fear around every corner.”
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said they are working tirelessly to get guns off the street to prevent similar shooting from happening. He said thanks to plans like ‘Operation Red Stick’, they’ve been able to seize more than 270 guns since Jan. 1.
Experts believe that’s one way to solve this crime problem, but one criminologist said we must do more.
“The question is, if we know with a reasonable degree of certainty that something is building up, do we have the capacity to intervene,” asked Dr. Peter Scharf.
Dr. Scharf is a criminologist from LSU. He believes there’s a link between mental illness and the crime we’re seeing in cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
”Are some of these kids, whether diagnosed of not, mentally ill? And, do others suffer from other neurological trauma?” asked Scharf.
He said we must find a way to get these people mental help, but he feels there’s a barrier standing in the way that may prevent this plan from happening.
”We don’t assess the black kids at the same rate as we do the white kids. That’s just real,” said Scharf. “And, we have a stereotype that they’re beefing because they’re in a gang, not because they are crazy.”
He believes developing an effective plan could lead to a positive effect on the city.
”You have to get better at targeting services to kids who are in the life. The kids who are riding around with guns,” said Scharf.
Dr. Scharf knows this isn’t a silver bullet to solving crime, but he feels we can at least save lives in the process.
”We’ve got to get the beef in progress, get these kids who are in these groups, and do something before it’s too late,” said Scharf.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.
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