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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: First quarter of 2024 breaks Baton Rouge homicide record

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BATON ROUGE - According to the Baton Rouge Police Department's database, the first three months of 2024 have been the deadliest in Baton Rouge in 25 years.

With 32 homicides since Jan. 1, it surpasses the first quarter of 2021 otherwise known as the year with the most homicides on record. This time last year, the number was less than half of what it is now.

Blue bars represent homicide number for first quarter, Red bars are total homicides during year

Since midnight Monday the official end of the first quarter there have already been two additional homicides.

City leaders are acutely aware of the problem, giving a press conference about it just last week.

"I want the public to know that what we've been experiencing. In regards to shootings in our city, most have been very personal, highly targeted incidents," Chief T.J. Morse said.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, in lock-step with Morse, attributes the issue to a nationwide increase in gun violence.

"Let's not forget...We've been here before, and just as we have done before, we will drive down the crime stats once again," Broome said at the press conference March 25.

The response approving $35K a week in overtime for officers to do proactive patrols, going to neighborhoods that are experiencing high levels of gun violence and trying to prevent shootings before they happen.

"We deploy people or resources to that area and their presence, or enforcement action actually quiets that area down," Captain Bill Clarida said.

One of those areas the North Sherwood Forest area has had five fatal shootings in as many weeks. The most recent on Easter morning. On Monday, there were at least two BRPD units patrolling those streets.

An 18-year-old, who only wanted to be known as 'Dante,' lives in this area. He says he's become accustomed to the violence.

"It's Baton Rouge. It's the usual. It's the same. It's constant. It ain't really nothing different. It's not really something you should be afraid ofit's something you need to be prepared for. If you was born and raised in Baton Rouge, you gon' go through that," he said.

BRPD say they have made 830 felony arrests this year which is down about 17 percent from this time last year. They've also taken 365 guns off the streets also down from last year by about five percent.

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