Man flees police custody Sunday night; authorities on hunt for shooting suspect

A 27-year-old man wanted for his role in a Sunday afternoon shooting escaped Baton Rouge police custody Sunday night near State Police headquarters, prompting a manhunt that continued late Sunday night.

Ryan Boatner, 27, 4751 Wilma St., Baton Rouge, escaped in handcuffs while being processed at the multi-agency Violent Crimes Unit at State Police headquarters on Independence Boulevard around 8:50 p.m., said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

The escape forced authorities to block off roads in the area of the escape for several hours.

Boatner was arrested earlier Sunday along with two other men — including one suffering life-threatening injuries — when the trio showed up at a hospital after a shootout at a home in the 4500 block of Charles Street, McKneely said.

The three men allegedly drove to the Charles Street home around 2 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, one man — Warren Jackson, 27, of Baton Rouge — stayed in the car while Boatner and a 29-year-old man, who was not identified, went into the house, McKneely said.

The men were let in by four people inside the house. Once inside, the 29-year-old man told the four people to empty their pockets, then the shooting began, McKneely said.

The man demanding belongings shot two people before one was able to return fire, seriously injuring the robber, who was still in the hospital late Sunday.

The two victims suffered only moderate injuries, McKneely said.

Boatner is wanted for four counts of attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery, McKneely said.

Jackson, who remained in the car during the shootout, is accused of accessory to attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery, McKneely said.