Two Southern University students were shot to death early on Sunday morning outside of an apartment complex in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ABC News reports.
Baton Rouge (Louisiana) police sergeant Don Coppola Jr. said the shooting happened in the parking lot of the apartment complex around 2 a.m.
BREAKING: Two women dead in triple shooting near LSU are Southern University students. More to come: https://t.co/wIg8IOATw3
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) April 10, 2016
Although the police didn’t officially release the names of the two victims in the shooting, one of them was Lashuntae Benton of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Benton was a sophomore at Southern and was a student athletic trainer.
Benton’s mother told ABC News that police told her that her daughter wasn’t an intended target in the shooting. Theresa Tillman said her daughter lived in a dorm on Southern’s campus but was present at the apartment complex to apparently attend a party.
“My baby was a very vibrant child, a beautiful child with a beautiful heart,” Tillman said during a telephone interview. “Everybody loved her.”
Southern University president Ray Belton identified the other victim as 19-year-old freshman Annette January of Gary, Indiana. She was a member of the school’s track and field team.
Another 24-year-old man was injured in the shooting, but his injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.
Benton reportedly died on the scene, while January died at a Louisiana hospital shortly after the shooting.
Belton released a statement about the shooting.
“It is with deep sadness that the University confirms that two Southern University Baton Rouge female student-athletes were killed early Sunday, April 10, 2016. According to law enforcement, freshman track and field athlete Annette January of Gary, Indiana, and sophomore student athletic trainer Lashuntae Benton of Lake Charles, were killed by gunfire outside of an apartment complex in Baton Rouge near LSU, early this morning. An investigation is ongoing. The University asks for prayers and support for the families at this difficult time.”
Two Southern University students killed in early morning shooting in Baton Rouge identified as student-athletes https://t.co/3QHJbSw5S3
— KATC TV3 (@KATCTV3) April 10, 2016
No suspects have been arrested in the Louisiana shooting nor has any possible motive been given.
This shooting was the second high-profile incident to happen in Louisiana in the last 24 hours, as late on Saturday night, former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death by 28-year-old Cardell Hayes in New Orleans.
In that incident, Smith’s Mercedes Benz SUV was rear-ended by Hayes’ Hummer H2. The men got into a heated argument at the scene when Hayes pulled a handgun out and started shooting. Smith was killed on the scene while his wife Racquel suffered two gunshot wounds to the leg and had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Hayes stayed at the scene of the shooting until police arrived and put him under arrest.
Cardell was a high school football star in the state of Louisiana, but things never quite worked out for him. He reportedly had interest from LSU and Florida.
Hayes’ bond was set at $1 million on Sunday as he declined to enter a plea. After the hearing, his lawyer said that his client was not guilty because his client thought Smith was going for a gun of his own when he opened fire.
The New Orleans Advocate reported earlier on Sunday that Smith was coming from dinner with his former teammate Pierre Thomas and former New Orleans, Louisiana police captain Billy Ceravolo. Hayes filed a lawsuit against Ceravolo in 2005 after his father was killed by police. The case was settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount of money.
A rough couple of hours happened on Saturday night for the state of Louisiana, with two high-profile shootings within 81 miles of each other.
[Photo via AP Images]