BR police probe fatal shooting

Police were investigating a shooting Monday that took the life of a 29-year-old Baton Rouge man, the fifth homicide in less than a week in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Daniel Cole, 1345 Rosenwald Road, was shot about 1:15 a.m. in the 400 block of Connell Street, police spokesman Lt. Don Kelly said.

The shooting happened outside, Kelly said, and the victim was gone before police arrived. A family member dropped Cole off at the nearby Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City, where Cole died early Monday, Kelly said.

“We got calls very close together from people in the area that they had heard shots fired in that block,” Kelly said. “Right after that, we got a call from the hospital that a shooting victim had showed up there.”

Investigators were following potential leads, but Kelly said he couldn’t release details about possible suspects or a motive in the shooting.

“It’s too early,” he said.

Neighbors recalled hearing a series of gun shots that roused them from their sleep. Trina Odom lives at the corner of Main Street and Connell Street and said she was in bed with her baby when four or five successive shots woke her up.

The gunfire prompted her and family members to get out of bed and onto the floor, she said.

“The shots sounded like they were right in front of my window,” Odom said, adding she heard gunfire Saturday night as well. “All I heard was tires spinning after the shots.”

Felton Mitchell said he made his way out of his Connell Street house and saw police cars crowding an otherwise empty street. There was no sign of a victim, he said.

“It’s a normal thing around here that you hear shots,” said Mitchell, who has lived in the neighborhood about 13 years. “But you hear them from a distance — never that close.”

Cole had a lengthy history of arrests and was facing drug charges at the time of his death, according to court records.

Lamarcus Gilmore, who was walking in the rain Monday afternoon near Cole’s Rosenwald Road home, said he would remember Cole as an outgoing person. Detectives had been by the house earlier to speak with Cole’s family, Gilmore said.

“He was a good guy,” Gilmore said. “He was a nice guy to hang around.”

Cole’s shooting death marked the sixth homicide in 2013 in East Baton Rouge Parish, according to statistics compiled by The Advocate.

“These are all isolated, individual crimes,” Kelly said. “There’s no indication any of them are related.”

Anyone with any information on the shooting is asked to contact the police department’s homicide division at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.